New Delhi: Jaipur-based wholesale e-commerce venture Wholesalebox, a B2B platform for shopkeepers to buy apparel, fashion jewellery and home furnishing products directly at factory prices, has secured $2 million from a clutch of institutional investors and marquee angel investors in a pre-Series A round, a top company executive said.
The investors included Manish Maheshwari, CEO of Network 18 Digital, and Contrarian Vriddhi Fund among others.
The funding will be utilized to scale technology, expand operations in new markets and improve the supplier and buyer experience.
“The main objective is to provide doorstep delivery to retailers along with better choice while reducing their landing cost by 25%... We strongly believe that retailers should be able to focus more on their customers to help them have a better experience,” Rohit Dangayach, co-founder and CEO of Wholesalebox, said.
Wholesalebox caters primarily to unbranded and local brand markets and claims to sell goods at less than 25-30% of what stores would normally pay. This in turn enables shopkeepers to sell their products at a much lower rates than online/offline competitors.
The start-up was founded in 2015 by IIT Roorkee alumnus Dangayach, who had set up the dealer and original equipment maker business of Cardekho from scratch, Chandan Agarwal, a former Citibank investment banker, Madhur Bhaiya (IIT Delhi) and Rakesh Shekhawat (Sikkim Manipal University).
Wholesalebox uses technology that helps small and medium manufacturers scale by providing them a pan India sales channel, while giving retailers an improved procurement experience, avoiding traditional hassles of logistics, negotiation, limited choice, quality validation and credit.
It currently has over 350 manufacturers and about 15,000 registered retailers. Post funding, it would be able to serve more than half the retailers’ shelf-space requirement for the domains it operates in, Dangayach added.
Somak Ghosh, who runs Contrarian Vriddhi Fund, an active investor in angel funding rounds, said, “Ninety-eight percent of the Indian retail market is in the offline channel, which provides a large opportunity for Wholesalebox to bring in significant efficiencies by organizing the sector’s multi-layer supply chain.”
Dexter Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Wholesalebox for the transaction.