Indian B2B marketplace Udaan sees sharp spike in food biz in 2020

Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash

Top business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce marketplace Udaan has seen its food business witness a sharp spike this year, with transaction volume crossing 8000 tonnes per day.

Udaan’s foods business, which constitutes around 60% of its business, comprises of fast-moving consumer good (FMCG), staples and fresh products. The volume of transaction handled on the platform in the food category makes Udaan the largest grocery platform in the country, the company said.

The firm connects brands and manufacturers with small retailers across food, non-food (electronics and fashion) and pharmaceuticals categories.

The Udaan platform has witnessed over 500% in volume for the food business in the last two years, with the vertical adding over 50% buyers in the in the past six months during the pandemic. The platform has also witnessed a significant increase in repeat purchase from these buyers.

On an average, it receives over 3 million orders a month in the food category across 50 cities. It has seen growth in smaller towns or satellite centres from these 50 cities grow around 100% – 120%.

Overall, it enables delivery of over 1.5 lakh orders daily, spread over different business verticals across 900 cities.

“A key challenge in the foods business is timely access to the market. The lack of strong and reliable logistics network results in a significant percentage of these products getting wasted. Udaan’s strong supply-chain network spanning 900+ cities, covering over 12,000 pin codes not only ensures timely delivery, but also provides quality and fresh products to buyers at a better price,” said Vivek Gupta, head, food business, Udaan.

Despite the short-term hit to the B2B business due to the pandemic, it has been overshadowed by the acceleration of digitization of the retail and wholesale supply chains that is likely to outlast the crisis and trigger a faster expansion of the e-B2B sector.

Udaan was founded in 2016 and turned unicorn in two years’ time. Last October, it had raised $585 million valuing the e-B2B firm at $2.5-3 billion.

HUL, P&G, ITC, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, Dabur, Colgate among others have used Udaan’s distribution network.

“…Our partner FMCG companies get direct and easy access to over 3 million kirana shops and retailers nationally on the udaan platform resulting in expansion of their target markets. The growth in food volumes at Udaan highlights the confidence of partner FMCG companies, buyers, and sellers on our platform.This is in line with our vision to transform the trade ecosystem in the country leveraging the power of technology,” Gupta added.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.