Noida-based B2B platform Lal10, on Friday (March 13), announced that it has raised $1.1 Mn in its Pre-Series A funding round led by US-based Utah’s Sorenson Impact Fund. Beyond Capital, Pegasus Finvest, Upaya Ventures, AngelList Collective, and Gemba Capital also participated in the funding round.
Additionally, angel investors such as cofounder of Slideshare Amit Ranjan, ex-Flipkart CTO Mekin Maheshwari, Seedfund cofounder Pravin Gandhi also invested in Lal10. Prior to this, the startup had raised an undisclosed amount of funding in a seed funding round from angel investors in July 2018.
Lal10 is aiming to achieve efficiency in the supply chain by investing more towards the technology aspect of the company. “We will also focus on adding more international B2B retailers. We also aim to digitise 10K artisans in 2020,” said cofounder of Lal10 Maneet Gohil.
Founded in 2016 by Gohil, Sanchit Govil, and Albin Jose, Lal10 is an online platform for Indian artisans to sell their products in international markets. The company has partnered with global retailers who buy products from these sellers. Founders of Lal10 have been part of leading global accelerators such as Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI) and GMC Calibrator.
The startup claims to have over 1500 artisans registered from eight low-income states in India. Moreover, it has also partnered with more than 300 global retailers from over 18 countries. Some of the notable retailers include Zara, Anita Dongre, Toast, Wills Lifestyle, FabIndia, Four Seasons, and Taneira.
The mobile-first platform helps artisans get a first-hand experience of online selling. The startup also provides creators with the required skills and knowledge of contemporary designs. It also helps them manage inventory and supply chain for better delivery and transaction efficiency. Lal10 uses customer relationship management (CRM) software to digitise inventories. “They have created an innovative model for artisanal micro-entrepreneurs from India’s rural heartlands,” Ranjan said.
Bringing Artisans Online
India’s handloom industry is said to be the second-largest employment provider for the rural population after agriculture. According to the Handloom Export Promotion Council, over 4.3 Mn people are directly involved in handloom production.
Similar to Lal10, many other Indian startups are also connecting artisans with retailers and sellers with the help of their online platform. Some of these startups are Kafra, Craftsvilla, and Mela Artisans.
Even ecommerce majors such as Amazon and Flipkart are focussing on these artisans. In July 2019, Flipkart had announced the launch of the Samarth programme. It aims to bring India’s artisans, weavers, and handicrafts producers onto ecommerce. On the other hand, Amazon India has also launched Amazon Karigar programmes to promote regional artisans.