Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata, one of India’s most active startup backers, has invested an undisclosed amount in online marketplace for industrial tools Moglix.
This is the seventh investment in 2016 for Tata. So far this year, he has put money in biopharmaceutical firm Invictus Oncology, animal lovers’ portal Dogspot, coupons site CashKaro and baby products e-commerce site FirstCry.com, among others.
Tata, who has backed 29 startups since he hung up his boots as the chief of the Tata Group in December 2012, has a penchant for e-commerce startups despite the ‘pricey’ valuations attached to several such ventures.
Moglix, run by MOGLILABS Pvt Ltd, went live in August 2015. It is a marketplace for hand tools, power tools, cutting tools, and tapes and adhesives, among other products. In October, Moglix had raised pre-Series A funding from Accel Partners and Jungle Ventures.
The company said in a statement Tata will play an important role in mentoring the company on business growth, global expansion and leadership.
“Indian manufacturers have been slow to adopt technology, leading to process inefficiencies and limited marketing exposure. The unorganised supply chain in India can only be solved with a technology-first mindset,” said Rahul Garg, CEO and founder of Moglix.
Singapore- and Noida-based Moglix’s long-term plan is to enable Asian manufacturers to sell products in about 100 countries. The company claims to have about 200 Indian manufacturing brands on board including Havells, Larsen and Toubro, C&S Electric, Anchor and Bajaj Electricals.
Besides Moglix, a few other industrial tools marketplaces have got funding in recent months. In December, Industrybuying.com received an undisclosed amount in angel funding from family members of the Chennai-based Murugappa and TVS groups. In September, Industrybuying.com secured Rs 60 crore ($9 million) in a Series B funding round from Kalaari Capital, existing investor SAIF Partners and Teruhide Sato’s Beenext.
In October, Bizongo, a B2B marketplace for industrial goods, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Accel Partners. In April last year, VCCircle had reported that Tolexo, a subsidiary of IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd, was in talks to raise as much as $200 million from investors.