Udaan, the fastest Indian startup to achieve the coveted unicorn status, has raised $373.5 million from new and existing investors in an ongoing Series D round.
The business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace has raised the funds from Altimeter Capital, GGV Capital and Hillhouse Capital, besides existing investors DST Global and Lightspeed Venture Partners, according to regulatory filings in Singapore sourced from data intelligence platform Paper.vc. The latest fund infusion more than doubles Udaan’s valuation to $2.3 billion, according to calculations provided by Paper.vc.
The company, founded by former Flipkart executives Amod Malviya, Sujeet Kumar and Vaibhav Gupta, achieved the $1 billion valuation mark when it raised $225 million in September 2018.
Udaan is an online marketplace that facilitates buying and selling of fashion products, groceries and electronics among manufacturers, brands and retailers. It was incorporated in June 2016 and launched later that year. Since then, the company has expanded its operations to 900 cities.
The company has been in fundraising talks with several investors over the past several months, including Japan’s SoftBank and New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management, but they did not materialize. News reports in June said the firm was in talks to raise up to $500 million at a valuation of $2.7 billion.
The last few months have seen strong investor interest in B2B e-commerce firms. This includes the likes of agritech company NinjaCart, which saw an investment of $89.5 million from Tiger Global. NinjaCart connects farmers to retailers such as grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants that buy fruits and vegetables. Moglix, a B2B marketplace for industrial goods, raised $60 million from Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital.
While most firms in this space are vertical players, which means they focus on one specific category—say, fresh produce, industrial goods, or staples—Udaan is a horizontal player, offering products across categories.
The company also offers other services such as credit financing and logistics to connect manufacturers with retailers. Udaan’s logistics service, Udaan Express, delivers 65% of the company’s orders.
With stupendous growth over the last three years, Udaan is now clocking an annualized gross merchandise value of around $2 billion. However, this is alongside a high monthly cash burn of $10-15 million, according to industry estimates.
This article was first published on livemint.com