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Our Businesses Have Grown 3x Over The Last Year: OfBusiness’ Vasant Sridhar

Our Businesses Have Grown 3x Over The Last Year: OfBusiness’ Vasant Sridhar

OfBusiness’ lending segment and commerce business saw 2x and 4x growth, respectively

The startup’s SaaS offering BidAssist currently has 3 lakh monthly visitors

Business is now building a platform called SME assist, which is a new-age tally or operating system for SMEs

With the impact of Covid-19 waning, many industries, which were impacted by the outbreak of the pandemic, have started seeing recovery. One such industry in India is manufacturing and contracting, which is also relishing the support from the government. After two torrid years, the small and medium enterprises in the segment are likely to see robust growth in the coming years, according to Vasant Sridhar, cofounder and chief sales officer of B2B ecommerce unicorn OfBusiness. 

“Our businesses have grown 3x over the last year just on the impact of the sheer economic recovery we are seeing,” Sridhar said while speaking at Inc42’s The Makers Summit 2022.

He also added that OfBusiness’ lending segment and commerce business saw 2x and 4x growth, respectively, in the same period.

OfBusiness was set up in 2016 by Vasant Sridhar, Asish Mohapatra, Ruchi Kalra, Bhuvan Gupta and Nitin Jain. At that time, India was seeing a boom in B2C startups, but the B2B sector was not seeing enough innovations.

“When we started, our idea was to sort of digitising the entire lifecycle of SMEs, manufacturing, contracting. We knew that if B2C was seeing a massive trend, B2B would not be far away,” Sridhar said.

OfBusiness offers working capital financing for the procurement of raw materials to SMEs in the manufacturing and infrastructure space. Its value-added services also include integrated SaaS products.

Explaining OfBusiness’ journey, Sridhar said when the startup forayed into the B2B ecosystem initially in 2016, it started with building a raw material platform, catering to multiple geographies, SKUs, brands, and products across India.

It wanted to bring ‘disintermediation’ in the industry and work directly with manufacturers to connect them with SMEs. 

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“We realised that to monetise a good product in the B2B segment, you need to couple it with services, and that’s when you are actually able to make a dent in the SME ecosystem,” Sridhar said.

The startup also launched BidAssist, a business network for public and government tenders, to help SMEs find business opportunities across the country. Over the years, it has emerged as one of the primary customer acquisition tools for OfBusiness.

BidAssist has now grown to three lakh monthly online visitors. In addition, 95% of the B2B unicorn’s lead generation comes from BidAssist, according to Sridhar. 

“While we have worked with government, private and global tenders, we are partnering with both customers and their suppliers to build a private tender network,” Sridhar said.

Later in 2017, the startup also launched its non-banking financial company (NBFC) Oxyzo to cater to the captive credit requirement of customers.

“That’s how OfBusiness became a flywheel of commerce, lending, marketing, put together,” Sridhar said. 

The Gurugram-based startup raised $325 Mn in its Series G funding round led by Alpha Wave Ventures II, Tiger Global Management and Softbank Vision Fund 2 at a valuation of nearly $5 Bn in December 2021. 

“We are also building a platform called SME assist, which is a new-age tally or operating system for SMEs, which helps them in different areas such as monitoring their financials, and procurement with multiple suppliers. This would be a solution we want to provide. We are piloting with our captive customers today,” Vasant Sridhar said. 

The operating revenue of OfBusiness grew to INR 1,379.01 Cr in FY21 as compared to around INR 698.78 Cr in FY20. Its net profit during the year stood at INR 19.76 Cr, as against INR 13.83 Cr in the previous fiscal.

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