Integrating the iron and steel supply chain, Metalbook wants to become a one-stop-shop for material procurement

Founded in early 2021, the iron and steel procurement startup is all set to become a bootstrapped startup with the highest first-year revenue in the history of the Indian startup ecosystem and expects to achieve an order book of Rs 500 crore by the end of November 2021.

Integrating the iron and steel supply chain, Metalbook wants to become a one-stop-shop for material procurement

Friday November 12, 2021,

4 min Read

As a basis for the development of a number of industries, the iron and steel industry in India has always been a force to reckon with. From construction companies to MSMEs, several companies benefit from the sector as the procurement of raw materials form an integral part of the process. The procurement process in India is highly localised, unorganised, and requires manual intervention.

Metalbook, a full-stack digital procurement platform for iron and steel products, has simplified the process for organisations looking for raw materials. With a nine-member team based out of New Delhi, the startup provides fabrication, processing, and logistics solutions as per the consumers, thus making sure that the products that reach them are suited perfectly for their needs.

Inception of the brand

Metalbook was founded by Aman Tibrewal, Pulkit Baldev, and Raghavendra Pratap Singh in January 2021. The experience and business acumen of the core team stems from the collective industry knowledge they possess.

Metalbook is spearheaded by Pulkit, an IIM graduate with experience of working in companies like Tata Steel Ltd, and OFB Tech. The company’s operations and the implementation of tech products are overlooked by Raghavendra, who has earlier worked with Uber, Reddoorz, and Loconav, after completing his graduation from Delhi Technological University. Aman hails from a traditional business family dealing in steel trading, and also has an experience of working with JK Tyres. Having understood the shortcomings of the industry, the team decided to disrupt the steel procurement process across the country.

Realising that purchasers found it tedious to get high-quality products at a low price with satisfactory service assurance, Pulkit and Aman understood that the power parity between dealers, distributors and the processing centres needed to be shifted to the consumers. Thus, they introduced a digital platform that could maintain complete transparency with the consumers, and simultaneously, provide the best service.

In less than a year, Metalbook witnessed a QoQ growth of 18x, onboarded more than 370 steel suppliers and 200 customers across the country, and landed customer accounts like DLF Limited, BL Kashyap and Sons, Zetwerk, Moglix, and more.

Challenges, growth and way forward

Several VCs passed on the chance to invest in the company at the ideation stage, citing the low-profit margins and capital intensive nature of the industry. But this did not deter the founders from believing in their idea and led them to run the company bootstrapped and expand extensively. The founders then decided to observe a judicial mix of orders on an advance basis and credit and sought help from NBFCs and distribution networks. The idea worked wonders and the level of revenue execution for a bootstrapped startup has been unprecedented.

Metalbook registered a revenue of Rs 50 crore profitably within just six months of FY22. Its order book currently stands at more than Rs 230 crore and is expected to reach a figure of Rs 500 crore by the end of November 2021. This has put Metalbook well on its way to becoming a profitable bootstrapped startup with the highest first-year revenue.

A higher level of traction in the market has now enabled Metalbook to venture into the second phase of its expansion plan, and the core team plans to raise funds accordingly in the coming months.

According to the founders, the key factor that has helped Metalbook grow has been the dedication and experience of the core team. The knowledge they gained over the years, and the trust factor helped them go full throttle from the word go, which helped the company grow at an exponential rate.

The level of services offered by the company is unmatchable, which has helped them generate a huge demand from the market. Another factor that has helped the company grow is the underlying aim of understanding problematic areas for the consumer and implementing smooth ideas to solve these problems through their platform.

The startup aims to register a net revenue of Rs 1,000 crore by FY23 and raise funding from VCs to establish a consolidated sales team and expand further. Several new products are lined up along with branding solutions for Metalbook, which are expected to be released soon, say the founders.