Mumbai-headquartered hyperlocal search engine JustDial has launched its B2B ecommerce portal, JD Mart, to take on IndiaMart and Udaan. The platform will connect bulk buyers with wholesale sellers across product categories.
“JD Mart is an exclusive B2B portal for a new wholesale experience. B2B buyers can discover quality vendors offering a wide selection of products to choose from, spread across various categories to suit all their B2B needs,” JustDial’s press statement read.
The search engine was planning to launch the B2B ecommerce platform, along with demand service platform JD Xperts, by the end of 2020. But the plans were delayed as IndiaMart
moved the Delhi High Court on November 10, 2020, alleging that the hyperlocal search engine was infringing on its intellectual property rights (IPR) with its yet-to-be-launched service.
The Dinesh Agarwal-led company secured a temporary injunction from the Delhi high court against JD Mart over copyright violation. The temporary injunction prevented JustDial from launching the marketplace under the brand name JD Mart and using other intellectual properties including category tree, naming convention, supplier and product information and specifications.
JustDial had called these accusations “absolutely baseless and frivolous”, highlighting that the company will pursue legal remedies. In turn, the company had accused IndiaMart of data-copying and cybersquatting, among others. “Our products suffer from no plagiarism and the same is above board both in terms of law and best business practices. JustDial has painstakingly built its database, brand over the last 25 years and such baseless allegations shall be adequately addressed,” the company’s spokesperson had said.
JustDial was founded in 1994 by VSS Mani as a phone-based local directory with more than 25 vertices. It opened its IPO in 2013, and made a soft entry into India’s ecommerce space in May 2015 through tie-ups with restaurants, grocers, pharmacies and electronic stores for home delivery.
Later in 2017, the company also introduced JD Pay, a unique solution for quick digital payments for its users and vendors. It claims to have branches in 11 cities across India with an on-ground presence in over 250 Indian cities covering more than 11K pincodes. With this, the company reported a net profit of INR 47.3 Cr with INR 242.57 Cr as operating revenue in Q2 of FY21, representing a 43.2% drop from INR 83.3 Cr ($11 Mn) profit with INR 162 Cr operating revenue recorded in Q1. In the Q4 of FY2020, before Covid-19 hit India, the company reported a profit of INR 76.07 Cr with operating revenue climbing INR 273 Cr.