Why Are Investors Queueing Up At Dukaan—an Online Shopping, Ecommerce Place For Small Offline Merchants?

Subhash Choudhary, Co-founder and CTO, Dukaan (L) with Suumit Shah, Founder and CEO, Dukaan (R)On one of many lockdown mornings final April, Suumit Shah acquired a WhatsApp message from an nameless quantity. ‘It was bizarre,” recollects the serial entrepreneur. The sender occurred to be one of many native retail retailer house owners from Indiranagar, Bengaluru, who was desperately making an attempt to promote Jockey underwear in a PDF format. “Here’s the record of things we’re promoting. Please take a look on the PDF and let me know which one you wish to purchase,” learn the message. Shah was baffled. What was bizarre was not that the shopkeeper knew the innerwear model utilized by Shah, however the truth that the poor chap was utilizing a primitive methodology to promote his merchandise. “Why doesn’t he have an ecommerce retailer?” puzzled Shah, who began his skilled innings with on-line realty agency Housing as digital advertising supervisor in 2014. Over the subsequent few years, he went on to work for TinyOwl, and based two startups—RiseMetric, a digital advertising company, and Rankz, a content material advertising platform.
The Jockey message opened up a can of unanswered questions for Shah, and all revolved across the shopkeeper. How would he be conserving monitor of all orders? What if an order comes from outdoors Bengaluru? “WhatsApp doesn’t give any service for geo focusing on form of function,” he puzzled. The curiosity made him discover the ache factors of the small companies. And then got here the thought: Ek easy answer banate hain (Let’s make as easy answer). The plan was to allow offline retailers come on-line, and the product was Dukaan, which Shah rolled out final June together with Subhash Choudhary. The co-founders needed to maintain the on-boarding course of so simple as doable. The shopkeepers wanted to enroll on the app, they’d get a OTP (one-time password), then they might write the identify of their enterprise and begin including all merchandise. Every vendor would get a singular hyperlink the place they’d have the ability to show no matter they’re promoting. “Even an individual with zero tech background might do it,” he recollects. And that is what occurred. One of the primary consumer instances introduced a Eureka second for the co-founders inside every week. A 60-year-old opened his personal on-line store on Dukaan, and began promoting goats! “We now knew Dukaan would work,” he recounts. Angels and early backers heard the bleating of goats, and clatter of every kind of shops—grocery, eating places, fruit and vegetable—that had been coming on-line in a seamless method.  In October, simply 4 months after beginning, Dukaan raised $6 million (Rs 44 crore) in its seed spherical led by Matrix Partners and Lightspeed India Partners. What was equally attention-grabbing was that over a dozen marquee angel traders—Ryan Hoover, founding father of Product Hunt; Jitendra Gupta, founding father of Jupiter; and Shashank Kumar, founding father of Razorpay—lined as much as again the fledgling enterprise. Dukaan had a grand opening. Tarun Davda, managing director at Matrix India, explains why the VC fund grew to become one of many early shoppers—learn backers—of Dukaan. The set off was the pandemic, and Dukaan turned out to be a vaccine for offline shopkeepers. “Dukaan goals to digitise tens of millions of Indian retailers and empower them to take their enterprise on-line,” he says. Small companies, he lets on, are turning to expertise sooner than ever to outlive the pandemic. Within three months of its launch, Dukaan managed to generate over 12 lakh orders for its retailers. The ecommerce platform had a promising begin. A yr later, and simply three months into monetisation, Dukaan raised one other $11 million in September. The pre-Series A funding spherical was led by 640 Oxford Ventures, and noticed participation from present traders comparable to Snow Leopard Ventures, Lightspeed Partners, and Matrix Partners. There had been extra new names comparable to Venture Catalyst, HOF Capital, Old Well Ventures, LetsVenture, 9Unicorns, Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal and Carl Pei, co-founder and CEO of Nothing. What appears to be attracting a brand new bunch of believers is Dukaan’s tempo of development. Around 3.5 million retailers have arrange shops on Dukaan’s platform; $700K (Rs 5.1 crore) is the annual recurring income (ARR) and the projection for the subsequent 12 months stands at $10 million (Rs 73 crore). “We began with our monetisation journey on a small service provider base final quarter,” says Shah, including that massive manufacturers and retailers comparable to Nivea and BigBazaar are additionally utilizing its providers. Over 2,000 retailers, he claims, have enrolled in Dukaan’s premium subscription plan to date, which makes up 10 p.c of the revenues.    The problem for Dukaan could be to maintain its store operating amidst intense competitors. While on one hand are a bunch of nimble rivals comparable to Sequoia-backed Bikayi, and Dotpe, on the opposite are massive ecommerce Goliaths like Amazon, Flipkart and Reliance jockeying for tens of millions of offline small companies. Can Dukaan hold its distinct identification intact? Well, the store and the buying is on for now. 

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