[Tech50] This Raipur startup is using tech to help small businesses with their financial and business management functions

YourStory Tech50 2021 startup GimBooks is a Raipur-based startup that is a full-stack SME focussed book-keeping, accounting, lending, and digital business management platform.
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While working at Target Corporation a few years back, Yash Raj Agarwal had realised that SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and startups find it hard to manage invoices, file taxes, and follow other compliances, especially in the early days when they lack in-house resources and manpower to do these things. 

Also, miscalculations or inaccuracies in book-keeping can be significantly damning for a startup.

“I realised there was a dire need for modern accounting and book-keeping systems. So when the GST roll-out took place in 2017, I felt it was the right  opportunity to move in this direction, and thereby launched GimBooks,” says 32-year-old Yash, an alumnus of the Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Pune, and Alliance University.

GimBooks is Yash’s second entrepreneurial venture and he has a total industry experience of seven years. The startup is also one of YourStory's Tech50 2021 companies.

What does it do

From a simple  invoice-maker app in early 2017 to solving various other pain points for startups and SMEs and becoming a full-stack SME focused book-keeping, accounting, lending, and digital business management platform, GimBooks has come a long way over the last few years and has 25 people on its rolls.

Today, it is a mobile-first book-keeping, lending, and payments platform for small and medium enterprises. Its USP (unique selling point) lies in the interface and features of its app, which customises itself according to the industry (domain) a particular client is from.  It also enables SMEs to integrate their banking and payments along with their book-keeping.

On the app, clients can create, share and manage documents, day-to-day purchases, inventories, and more. SMEs can also collect their payments from buyers through payment links, apply for loans, file their GSTRs, etc.

Funding and workings 

GimBooks has raised a seed round led of $315,000 from First Check Ventures and Y Combinator. The Raipur-based startup says that it offers a “comprehensive” book-keeping, accounting, lending, banking, and a digital business management platform that is customised for the needs of SMEs and entrepreneurs. 

Through its flagship mobile app and integrated website, GimBooks allows its users to digitally create GST-compliant invoices, waybills, purchase orders, challans, and also helps them to get access to loans, manage inventory and expenses, keep track of various business documents such as sales and purchase reports, notify payment reminders to customers, and more.

The mission

Notably, GimBooks also offers a domain-specific ‘Do-It-Yourself’ book-keeping solution, wherein invoices and other documents can be customised specific to the industry a user belongs to.

“We are on a mission to become the most preferred mobile-first business management platform of choice for Indian shopkeepers, grocery store owners, retailers, distributors and so many other small and medium sized businesses across various parts of India,” says Yash. 

The mobile-first platform offers a range of features, including creating and managing GST invoices, e-way bills, quotations, purchase orders, and various other documents required in day-to-day business. Additionally, it helps  integrate banking and payments with the business’ book-keeping. 

The business model 

The platform runs on a freemium model and has over 12,500 paid users. It follows a subscription based model of “six months to lifetime” and a commission based on the disbursals of the loans. The startup also plans to start charging commissions on payment collection. Currently, its primary revenue sources are commissions on transactions and lending, and subscriptions.

GimBooks says that through its platform, the startup has managed to reduce the payment collection time by half for most SMEs. 

While its backend is built on Django, the startup also uses MySQL, Java, and Firebase for notification and crash analytics. 

The road ahead

A Google-KPMG study reveals that digitally empowered SMEs have about twice the revenue growth projections as compared to offline SMEs. It’s no surprise then that the segment has several startups, including KhataBook, Namaste Credi, OkCredit, and others. GimBooks counts the likes of Vyapar App and MyBillBooks as its competitors.

The startup is in the process of launching invoice-based financing on its app, leveraging the data it has collected so far to analyse the creditworthiness of clients. According to GimBooks, no other book-keeping platform has been able to offer instant loan approvals based on invoices.

 

Its future plans include:

‘Open banking activities’ by introducing ‘integrated and connected banking’ in the app, for which it has already partnered with ICICI Bank. “We are in conversation with a few more banks for similar integrations as well,” adds Yash

Then there’s ‘transactions’ for which the startup is introducing a ‘collections’ feature on the app (users can collect payments of their invoices from their customers by sending instant payment links from the app). 

“We are also introducing payouts from where the merchants will make payments to their vendors, employees, etc., and all the reconciliation would happen automatically, which would save a lot of time and effort that would have gone otherwise in manual data entries of these transactions.” 

And lastly, ‘B2B lead generation and commerce’ for which GimBooks is developing a B2B (business-to-business) lead generation and B2B (business-to-business) commerce portal. 

“We already have over 2,50,000 monthly active users on our platform to engage in other productive activities like lead generation and commerce. While our product still caters to SMBs only in India, GimBooks is planning a global launch in November. We are also in advanced stage talks with a few international investors to close a pre-series A round by the end of this year,” says Yash.  According to him, the startup is currently valued at $16 million with an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $0.5 million. The startup aims to have 500,000 paying customers at an ARPU (average revenue per unit) of $200.

 

GimBooks is a YourStory Tech50 startup for 2021.

Edited by Ramarko Sengupta

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