This SaaS startup is solving supply chain challenges of enterprises, enabling BNPL for distributors

Bengaluru-based SaaS platform Actyv.ai helps large enterprises transform supply chains and lets them empower the distributor ecosystem by offering cheaper credit facility through a BNPL model.
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The relationship between a large enterprise and its distribution channel is deep and complex. A software platform that enables smooth communication between the two, providing the corporate real-time visibility into how its products are performing in the market while allowing the distributor access to easy credit can be a boon.

This is the path that Bengaluru-headquartered SaaS startup Actyv.ai has taken.

Founded by seasoned tech professionals Raghunath Subramanian, Ramkumar Thirumurthi, and Raghu Venkat, the startup uses AI and ML for its technology platform that solves the key supply chain challenges of enterprises while ensuring Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) credit facility to distributors and suppliers.

“Our focus has always been to go deep and solve the root cause of the problems through technology,” says Raghunath, Co-founder and CEO of Actyv.ai, which was founded in 2019.

The supply chain link between a corporate and distributors/suppliers is extensive and involves multiple functions such as supply of goods, maintenance of records, financial transactions, and gauging product performance. This necessitated the use of different software solutions for each function.

Actyv.ai started to meet corporates, especially those from the FMCG segment, to keenly understand their supply chain challenges and how they could go about solving them. The real pain point was the lack of real-time visibility on the performance of distributors and market insights.

“We started by building the ‘Lego blocks’ of technology that could function as a low-code or a no-code platform,” Raghunath says.

What Actyv.ai offers

Actyv.ai introduced its SaaS platform in 2020, providing multiple functionalities to corporates such as digital onboarding of distributors, managing inventory, invoices, financial transactions etc.

This startup claims the strongest point of its technology platform is faster onboarding of distributors or suppliers onto the network of an enterprise – it says it can do in three days what normally takes between three and nine months. It also provides real-time reconciliation.

Large enterprises are using Actyv.ai to transform supply chains and empower their channel partners. It claims to help onboard partners faster, get paid instantly, and improve the financial health of the supply chain.

The startup’s secret sauce is the Actyv Credit Score, an automated multi-dimensional credit score based on document data and transaction data. It takes into account financial and tax data, credit bureau scores, and more to generate a detailed report on an SME's financial health and calculate a credit limit that the enterprise and the bank can use.

The business model includes a one-time licensing fee for the enterprise when the SaaS platform is deployed. Further, a payment is received by the startup every time a distributor or supplier is onboarded onto the enterprise platform.

However, the bigger benefit that the Actyv.ai tech brings to the table is the access to financial credit to an enterprise’s distributors and suppliers.

“Banks have recognised our scoring model and are using it to underwrite their loans without the need for any collateral,” Raghunath says.

This enables banks to get access to a newer set of customers, who are able to get loans at more competitive rates.

The startup claims that because it gets access to real-time data on the performance of distributors, its financial scorecard is much more dynamic.

Raghunath says, “When the invoice financing and discounting from banks stops, our BNPL comes into play.”

The SaaS platform is at present being used by brands such as Britannia, Adani Wilmar, and Nivea. Actyv.ai has an employee strength of around 50 and plans to touch 150 by the end of this year.

In the future

The startup received an investment of $5 million from Dubai-based 1Digi Investment, the family office of co-founder Raghunath.

Actyv.ai’s platform offers other additional benefits to the distributor community as it brings them up to speed on the digital front and makes them competitive in a fast-changing world. It also ensures the highest adherence to data security standards.

After working with the FMCG sector, the SaaS startup is now looking at other segments such as manufacturing and automotive. This would also mean certain customisation as the requirement of each industry segment would be different even as the template remains the same.

“We are going into every enterprise as researchers to learn, listen, and create products that will solve the problem,” says Raghu, Co-founder and CTO.

According to industry estimates, the global supply chain market is expected to touch $41.7 billion by 2026, surging from $23.2 billion in 2020.

At present, Actyv.ai’s customers are from India. They include three large enterprises, and the startup has plans to add another 20-25 in the near future.

There are other SaaS startups in the similar space, but Actyv.ai's differentiator is the BNPL feature.

Actyv.ai has now plans to get into geographies such as the Middle East, South East Asia, Europe, and the US.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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