Apnastock Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs construction materials marketplace Buildkar, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed investment from Meher Group CEO Mustafa Wajid, Gaadi.com founder Umang Kumar and other angel investors.
Architect Naresh Narasimhan, Teligenz MD Prasad VL and Total Equipment Solution’s Sameer Govani also put money in this round, Buildkar co-founder Vinit Bhansali told Techcircle.in.
The funds raised will be utilised for technology upgradation, improving logistics, product portfolio expansion and marketing.
Buildkar (formerly known as ApnaStock) is an e-commerce platform for sand, pipes, cement, steel, plywood, bricks, bathroom fittings, cement and electric fittings besides other materials. Buildkar changed to its present name in January to avoid being confused as a financial services company.
The startup enables price discovery, instant quotes and delivery for construction and building material supply in Bangalore. Buildkar currently facilitates access to 20,000 construction industry products, it claims. Later this year, the company will also facilitate discovery of civil engineers, architects, decorators, electricians and plumbing contractors on its platform.
Buildkar was founded in October 2014 by Vinit Bhansali and Thejaswi Udupa. Bhansali, an alumnus of New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, had previously founded Adeena and CopperSpiral. Udupa has an MBA from IIM Bangalore. He worked at Yahoo for nearly eight years before starting up.
Ahmedabad-based eContructionMart is another online player in the construction materials space.
The B2B e-commerce space has been on investors’ radar in the last 12 months. The largest players in this niche segment are Tolexo (part of IndiaMART), Industrybuying, Shotang and Bizongo.
Recently, Shotang raised $5 million (around Rs 33 crore) in Series A funding from Exfinity Venture Partners and Unitus Impact Livelihoods Fund.
Industrybuying, an online marketplace for industrial goods, received an undisclosed amount in angel funding from family members of the Chennai-based Murugappa and TVS groups. In September, it had secured Rs 60 crore ($9 million) in a Series B funding round from Kalaari Capital, existing investor SAIF Partners and Teruhide Sato’s Beenext.
Also, Accel Partners recently seed-funded Bizongo, a B2B marketplace for industrial goods.
Interestingly, Indiamart founder Dinesh Agarwal recently invested an undisclosed amount in ProcMart, a procurement marketplace for office products until recently known as Instaproc.
Globally, Amazon launched its wholesale e-commerce property AmazonSupply three years ago. This came two years after Alibaba launched a new site for B2B e-commerce under 1688.com.