[Startup of the day] How this startup by ShopClues founding member is organising the fragmented wholesale marketAparajita Choudhury
Devesh Rai, in his past stint at ShopClues, met a large number of sellers across categories and discovered that those higher up in the distribution chain require a completely different solution. So his past experience coupled with fresh research on brands and wholesalers revealed various fissures in the B2B market: broken distribution chain, high costs involved in setting up a sales team across the country, low trust market, payment safety issues and logistics.
Devesh then launched mobile-based wholesale marketplace Wydr in January this year in Gurgaon, to bring small businesses, wholesalers, buyers, importers and retailers on one platform, eventually connecting wholesale buyers and sellers with their global counterparts. The objective was to aggregate the unorganised and fragmented Indian wholesale market.
The first-of-its kind mobile-first wholesale B2B marketplace is designed to make wholesale buying and selling more structured, organised and hassle-free, with loads of innovative state-of-the-art features packed within,” says Devesh (40). He is an Economics graduate from Hindu College, Delhi University, and holds an MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta.
Competitive edge and key differentiator
The startup claims to set itself apart from other players on the basis of its smart network capability, structured chat-enabled features, and private marketplace capability with transparency. It offers marketplace services including technology stack for real-time cataloguing, deal discovery, network building, order management and processing, dispute resolution and logistics.
Once a transaction is made between a buyer and seller, logistics, customer care and post-purchase dispute resolution are taken care of by Wydr. The smart search and favourites options allow buyers to find and mark important chats, products, deals and sellers.
The startup also benefits buyers and retailers with multiple sourcing options, real-time new products, price discovery and rendering wholesale hubs. The MyNet feature on the Wydr app assists wholesalers, importers and brands to build networks, conduct chats, negotiate and finalise deals with buyers. While its Mini-ERP (sales tool) help sellers manage existing business in an organised way.
Devesh states that Wydr does not have direct competition with existing players who are neither addressing wholesale pain points nor building on new set of opportunities. Market reputation, product range and quality, size of business and pricing advantage are some of the key parameters that Wydr considers before on-boarding retailers and wholesalers.
The feature 'HighFive' is a proprietary negotiation tool with which buyers and sellers can negotiate between themselves and lock a new price. Like other similar B2B platforms, Wydr also enables sellers to publish a particular price and sell at different prices depending on the quantity and repeat business.
With its SmartLeads platform, buyers can request for quotes from multiple sellers and even for items that are not readily available on the platform. 'Private Marketplace Mode' can be used by sellers who are very sensitive about publishing their designs and want to share their catalogue only selectively.
Wydr currently has close to 1,000 sellers, with a catalogue size of two lakhs across 150 categories. Devesh says the business size of the seller ranges from Rs 50-500 crore per annum, with an employee base of 15-100. While the business size of the buyers range from Rs 24 lakh to a few crore.
The startup has partnered with Lendingkart to offer collateral-free business loans to buyers and SMEs. The partnership will also see Wydr providing short-term credit for inventory purchase to retailers and shopkeepers.
The 50-member Wydr team follows a transactional revenue model since it charges a selling fee for every transaction. Moreover, it also charges a fee for the multiple options it provides to sellers for promotion on its platform. The startup claims to be growing at a rate of 200 percent month-on-month in terms of revenue. Wydr app so far has witnessed 35,000 downloads.
It hopes to bring on board 3-4 lakh brands, wholesalers and importers in the next 3-4 years, and achieve a GMV of $1 billion in the next five years.
According to a retail giant, the India’s wholesale market is expected to touch $700 billion by 2020. With the increasing growth of e-commerce and m-commerce, a large portion of the wholesale market will go online in future.
Following cater to the B2B segment: Industrybuying.com, a B2B marketplace selling industrial products to SMEs; IndiaMART-backed Tolexo.com, an e-commerce platform for business goods and supplies; Delhi-based Surpluss.in, which deals with overstock and branded surplus products; Udaipur-based startup NonMovingInventory.com, which connects potential buyers from around the world with manufacturing units or vendors.
The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises reported that there are 36 million small units in India. Most of them are buyers and sellers of various industrial goods, contributing to the growth of B2B e-commerce. According to consultant firm Ecumen.in, the B2B segment in India is set to grow by two-and-a-half times, and is set to touch Rs 45 lakh crore by 2020.