Why these IIT Delhi alums are looking to digitise the export ecosystem with their SaaS startup
As a founder, Divyaanshu Makkar believes that great ideas can’t be generated; they can only be discovered. In tune with the philosophy, friends and colleagues – Divyaanshu, Mayur Bhangale, and Vikas Garg – started discussing various ideas to disrupt the Indian export ecosystem, recognising the importance of international trade.
It led to the birth of. The SaaS (software-as-a-service) startup is building a platform to digitise exporters and help them grow and streamline their business.
The Sourcewiz Team
"Given the importance of international trade in a country’s economy, we decided to empower one of the most overlooked segments of this country – exports. We are building an operating system for exporters to run their entire business on our tools across sales and marketing, procurement, production planning, and logistics,” Divyaanshu, Co-founder of Sourcewiz, tells YourStory.
He adds the team has launched its first product which helps exporters create customised e-catalogues for their buyers in under two minutes. This solves the problem of exporters taking more than five days to create one catalogue due to information being disorganised. Moreover, they couldn’t share these products with buyers securely and would risk leaking their designs to competitors.
Why this product?
In addition to this, Sourcewiz also helps exporters establish an online presence through their website builder and share potential buyer recommendations with them.
“We are now working to digitise other parts of their business. We have customers across apparel, handicrafts, home textiles, furniture and auto parts from India, Bangladesh as well as the US,” adds Divyaanshu.
The core team is spread across Gurugram and Bengaluru, whereas the sales team is distributed across all major hubs of India, including Panipat, Jaipur, Delhi-NCR, Bhadohi, Varanasi among others.
“Vikas and I have known each other since 2011, we went to IIT Delhi together and were in the same department and hostel. Mayur and Vikas met at Zomato where Vikas was a product manager and Mayur was a software engineer,” he tells.
The team started the business in July 2021 and made its first hire the next month. Sourcewiz has been funded by Blume VC and Alpha Wave Global, along with marquee angels such as founders of Classplus, Tracxn, Loginext, and Livspace, along with industry angels such as senior management from Wayfair (the US’s largest furniture marketplace).
Speaking of the investment, Sajith Pai of Blume Ventures says Indian exports jumped 30 percent this year as they recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19, and the emergence of India as a parallel supply point to China. To keep pace with growth and to grow even faster, exporters – both small and large – are looking for tools that will digitise their workflows and help them trade faster and better.
“Sourcewiz is poised to be their partner on this journey. The early success in selling SaaS software convinced us that Sourcewiz can bring aboard $200 billion worth of transactions online. But more than the business potential, it is also the passion of the founding team – Divyaanshu, Vikas and Mayur – and their customer obsession that excited us at Blume. It is this intense customer obsession that sets them apart, and will set them on the road to success,” adds Sajith.
Understanding the background
Speaking about the team effort, Divyaanshu adds, “We started meeting exporters, visited their factories starting from March 2021, and spent time with over 100 factory owners along with various team members – from merchandising to production and logistics. Not only this, we even spoke with buyers to understand their experience of buying from India. Sourcewiz was a result of these conversations and carefully understanding inefficiencies and its impact.”
The team had realised COVID-19 actually changed how exporters sell. Previously, most of their products were showcased in person, either when the buyer visited the factory or at trade shows. After COVID-19, the process moved online.
“Our software helps exporters make e-catalogues packed with features such as zoom, 3D view, analytics, and inquiry management (buyers can send in inquiries directly through catalogues). In just five months, we have built a full product, onboarded 50 exporters, 150,000 unique products are uploaded on the platform, 400+ catalogues have been sent and accessed by 1,000+ buyers across 63 cities and 15 countries,” says Divyaanshu.
Sourcewiz’ SaaS product lets exporters manage their products (pictures, and information such as material used, size etc) on our platform. Its AI-based recommendation engine and smart filters enable exporters to find relevant products to share with the buyer to create a customised catalogue.
“Our catalogues can be shared through a link and exporters get detailed analytics on the buyer’s activity,” explains Divyaanshu.
According to a Bain & Co report, the investments in the Indian SaaS market touched $4.5 billion in 2021, and this will continue to grow. With the Freshworks IPO, several SaaS businesses are now growing fast.
Speaking about the differentiating factor, Divyaanshu says most of the software in this market is often clunky, difficult to use, and doesn’t work seamlessly. What sets them apart, he adds, is Sourcewiz’ user experience that enables customers as old as 60+ years old to use it.
The team charges an annual subscription that varies with the number of products they want to keep.
Anirudh Singh, Alpha Wave Global, an investor in Sourcewiz says,
“The domestic and international B2B trade commerce market is still completely untouched by technology and is highly fragmented and unstructured. Within this value chain, there are a few key areas that create real inefficiencies. Sourcewiz targets these core problems through its end-to-end tech stack. We liked the sharpness of vision and the deep-rooted understanding of the problems at the supplier's and buyer's end.”
“This is reflected in the rapid PMF and monetisation the company has shown within three months of commercial launch. The company is already seeing traction from other international markets, which is a validation of its global thesis,” he adds.
Sourcewiz’ goal is to expand its SaaS offering to build a full operating system for exporters and power not just their sales and marketing, but inventory management, production, and logistics as well.
“We plan to expand our customer base beyond India to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey, and Indonesia over the coming years,” says Divyaanshu.