Bangalore-based BuildTraders, an online construction materials marketplace, has raised $200,000 (Rs 1.33 crore) in fresh round of funding from existing investor Idein Ventures, a Dubai headquartered early stage venture capital firm, a top company executive told VCCircle.
The deal comes at a time when investors' interest in the real estate sector and its ancillaries is beginning to come back after a lull of nearly seven years. The Indian real estate sector saw investments worth $2.8 billion in 2015, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle, compared to $3.8 billion in 2008.
BuildTraders plans to use the funds for technology enhancement and to strengthen the supplier base, cofounder, Yogesh Pawde said. A part of investment will also go in the marketing and brand building of BuildTraders.
Second time entrepreneur Ranjeet Gakhare quit property management portal Cozilla in March to start up his own venture BuildTraders. He was later joined by Pawde, Aditya Joshi and Shubham Choudhary, cofounders of Cozilla in August after BuildTraders acquired property management portal Cozilla. While Pawde and Joshi are alumni of IIT Bombay, Choudhary who is working as the chief technology officer (CTO) of BuildTraders is a graduate from IIT Ropar and has previously worked with Amazon and Livespace. Pawde heads supply and operations division and has worked with Housing.com. Joshi is category head and Gakhare handles sales and marketing.
BuildTraders aims to be the one-stop solution for construction needs to both customers and realtors. At present it operates as an ecommerce platform for building materials and provides sand, steel, TMT, cement, bricks and blocks to consumers. The company plans to add other categories like plumbing material, electrical fitting material, marbles and granite.
"We are also in the process of developing a platform which helps a user virtually construct their house online while simultaneously doing it offline using BuildTraders materials," Gakhare added.
Revenues of India's construction equipment industry are estimated to be about $ 22.7 billion by 2020 from $ 5.1 billion in fiscal year 2012, according to a report prepared by dmg events India. To further expand its scope, BuildTraders is creating a platform where architects, structural consultants, local contractors civil engineers will be listed.
In April, Idein Ventures had invested undisclosed amount in the startup. The startup is looking to expand globally to various countries of Africa, where Idein Ventures has other interests and investments in assets.
"BuildTraders will first further set up its India operations before executing its international plans," said Rajeshwar Prasad, cofounder of Idein Ventures.
Umang Kumar, founder of Gaadi.com, who has invested in a construction equipment marketplace, Buildkar, said that B2B ecommerce is leading up and catching investor's interest and construction supplies is one of the largest opportunities.
"The market size is big in construction goods marketplace. However, the margins are stretched in this business, but if a player is able to optimise the logistics and is able to aggregate sufficient volumes, it will help to address the margin issue," Kumar said.
Idein Ventures, a venture capital and private equity firm was founded in 2015 by Mumbai-based serial entrepreneur Ashwin Srivastava, UAE based global investor Rajeshwar Prasad, and US based private equity expert and solution architect Mahesh Vellaboyina. As a part of the investment all the three cofounders of Idein ventures will join BuildTrader's board of advisors.
In June, Restate, a startup focused on landowners and builders had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Idein Ventures.
In January Bangalore-based startup Infurnia Furnishings Pvt Ltd had also raised seed investment of $160,000 (around Rs 1.1 crore)
Apart from that it had also invested about $160,000 in the technology-based learning platform Qriyo Infolabs.
BuildTraders competes with Supplified.com and Buildkar.
In January 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.
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