Chennai-based aahaa stores, an online office supplies platform has raised pre-series A funding round of about $1 million from a group of investors led by YourNest Angel Fund. The platform will utilize the new round of funding for market expansion, building technology & infrastructure and talent acquisition. Following the funding, the investors will be joining the board committee of the company.
Launched in 2013, the startup claims to solve a major pain point for corporates concerning the purchase of thousands of these materials from hundreds of vendors in multiple locations. The company is enabling a one-stop solution for all needs regarding office management, which are classified as indirect spends.
Asokan Sattanathan, Chairman, aahaa mentioned that the office supplies could range from cafeteria supplies to specialised stationery to customised trophies. Besides, it also fulfills the unique needs of certain industries such as worker safety products in manufacturing and cash counting machines and ATM displays for banks. The company has over 500 vendors and notably sources 75 percent of its deliveries locally. It claims to have over 50 customers across manufacturing, technology and banking verticals including Wipro, TCS, Ashok Leyland, Michelin, Titan, Karur Vysya Bank and Cholamandalam Finance. The company is headquartered in Chennai with offices and warehouses in Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Gurgaon.
According to a rough estimate, the office supplies is worth $20 billion industry. Many other companies such as Zoffio, OfficeYes, offineeds, Kobster and other similar platforms work in this space. Earlier in February 2015, Chennai-based Kobster has raised undisclosed amount of seed funding from Splice Advisors.
In the past few years, the office supplies segment has witnessed an influx of startups, however, nobody has been able to emerge as a winner in the segment. And during these years, many have wrapped up their businesses.
The current news of funding in aahaa stores hints towards the rising interests of investors in the segment. However, we need to wait to observe whether the trend follows and other also achieve some success.