Udaan's and its Billion Dollar IPO

Udaan's and its Billion Dollar IPO

Udaan's journey in a nutshell

  • One of Indian fastest unicorn status (24 months)
  • 6X revanue jump in FY21,  Rs 5,919 Cr ( $775.3 M )
  • Diversified revenue channels including from Ecom, Financing service and platform fees
  • Anticipated IPO in 2023

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Founded by 3 Ex-Flipkart employees, Udaan envisioned directly connecting India's manufacturers with retailers, cutting out intermediaries by making the whole process efficient and profitable for both parties.

In the past, Udaan's founders have played core roles in the growth and scaling process of Flipkart; this provided them with tremendous insight into the Indian e-commerce space.

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  • Vaibhav Gupta - Ex- SVP of business finance and Analytics at Flipkart.
  • Sujeet Kumar - Ex-President of Operations in Flipkart
  • Amod Malviya - Ex-Chief Technology Officer at Flipkart

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In any startup, the team is the crucial variable that its future depends upon; this trios capability undoubtedly helped them chase their vision of Indian B2B Ecom dominance from day one.

From the origin,  founders knew that Indian B2B Ecom space is fundamentally different from B2C space. Even though the middle man constantly undercut small to medium retailers, they had a pre-existing delivery network. They provided products over credit and had a decade-old relationship with the sellers.

Udaan's founding team wanted to overcome these hurdles by driving its core decision based on technology and data.

From the beginning, they leveraged the rich data sources that they had harvested to target and convert sellers across India into their customers.

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Indian Ecom - B2B vs B2C

Indian B2C Ecom was a major driver behind the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem; from the initial days, startups like Flipkart, Snapdeal, and later Amazon-India, competed for the market share, which attracted significant funding from global institutions investors.

This stiff competition and funding inflow to the Indian consumer Ecom space lead to incremental improvements in the B2C space, from logistics and operations to data-driven consumer sales.

Essentially B2C space had seen a radicle revolution, but B2B space was still dormant.

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Indian B2B Renaissance

Compared with Indian B2C commerce, the B2B space has only shown moderate growth until 2019; however, the pandemic quickly changed this.

Rapid digitalization driven by the pandemic led to explosive growth in Indian B2B Ecom companies; companies like Bizongo, Udaan, Medikabazaar, Moglix, Ofbusiness and Inframarket saw a record seeing 100-300% growth in terms of both order volumes and revenues.

Traditional suppliers,  logistic networks and financial services were facing a hard time during the pandemic. However, during this same pandemic period, the power of ample funding and a technology-driven dynamic approach helped the new generation of B2B commerce companies gain growth and scale up their operations quickly.

During the pandemic, SMBs were fascinated by transparent operations and easy access to credit and product at higher margins offered by  B2B Ecom players like Udaan and Ninjacart.

As of now, India's B2B E-commerce market is one of the fastest-growing in the world and is expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2024.

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The Economic of Indian B2B E-commerce

Typically the margin provided by B2B sales is lower than B2C commerce.

However, this relatively high order volume, high loyalty and retention, and repetitive order pattern make this market potential huge.

Udaan started with Electronics and has expanded to diverse product lines, including FMCG and products sourced directly from Chinese manufacturers.

With more than 1000+ supported locations in India, Udaan has a highly efficient logistic network. Along with data points from thousands of sales happening across the platform, Udaan can accordingly predict various sales parameters, which help them to further optimize their operation for SMBs and sellers.

Once started as a platform, Udaan later leveraged the insight they got from facilitating the sales to expand their product offerings. This expansion has one philosophy at its core - to improve the B2B sales process for all the parties involved in the ecosystem.

With this philosophy in mind, Udaan later expanded to financial services, which provided credit to its users; this credit is still an essential variable for the SMBS.

Udaan's current story

With significant growth and backing from marque investors, including Microsoft, Udaans is now on its existing journey towards its IPO.

In the last few years, Udaan saw a significant revenue jump with the sale of traded goods as its primary revenue driver ( 94.41% ).

The company also has additional revenue stram, including platform fees and financing services that offer its customers credit and payment services.

Their journey seems to be hailing in the right direction with the right scale, team, and capital.

Udaans IPO will be one of the crucial milestones for India's startup ecosystem.

Best wishes to Vaibhav Gupta, Sujeet Kumar and Amod Malviya and the whole Uddan team.

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