Business-to-business (B2B) platform Udaan raised $585 million from Tencent, Altimeter, Footpath Ventures, Hillhouse, GGV Capital, and Citi Ventures, it said.
Existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners and DST Global also contributed to the round. This takes the total funds raised by the e-commerce start-up to $870 million since 2016.
According to Vivek Durai, founder of business intelligence platform Paper.vc, Tencent led the Series D financing round, by contributing roughly a quarter of the total raise, giving the firm a “post-money valuation in the range of $2.5 billion”.
With this fundraise, Udaan will continue its long-term investment approach in building its platform.
Founded by former Flipkart executives Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar, and Vaibhav Gupta, Udaan has operations in categories such as lifestyle, electronics, home and kitchen, staples, fruits and vegetables, fast-moving consumer goods, toys, and general merchandise.
Udaan said it enables small manufacturers, farmers, mills, and brands to sell their products across the country at low costs, with 100 per cent payment security and transparency. “Udaan’s unique approach could enhance the capabilities of millions of retail stores,” said Martin Lau, president of Tencent.
The Indian market has a large number of small businesses across manufacturing and trade, including over 100 million farmers and 15 million small manufacturers, as well as above 30 million traders, retailers and service businesses.
Mobile technology is enabling access for these businesses at an unprecedented speed. Udaan said its marketplace has strategically focused on this trend, facilitating efficient and transparent transactions.
“Empowering millions of small businesses to effectively procure and sell goods is not only a massive business opportunity, but will also help transform the economy by providing internet-scale productivity gains to merchants, wholesalers, and manufacturers,” said Brad Gerstner, founder and CEO of Altimeter Capital, and Ram Parameswaran, partner at Altimeter Capital.