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Lightspeed-backed Indian trade Udaan raises $120 million • londonbusinessblog.com

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India’s Udaan has raised $120 million in convertible bonds and debt led by existing shareholders and bondholders, a chief executive told employees in an email seen Thursday by londonbusinessblog.com, as the business-to-business e-commerce startup finished. is to go public in 12-18 months.

The new funding brings the startup’s total funding in convertible bonds and debt over the past four quarters to more than $350 million, Udaan’s chief financial officer Aditya Pande wrote in an email Thursday. These funding rounds are “one of the largest fundraisers for structured instruments in the country,” he said.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup, which helps traders secure inventory and working capital, has improved the unit economy by “~1,000 basis points with equally strong improvements in both gross margins and operating costs,” Pande wrote. “The journey of proper business design and unit economics has translated into a 60%+ reduction in combustion. Continued focus on customer-centric thinking and initiatives to strengthen our value proposition to them has resulted in monthly buyer repeat rates increasing 500+ basis points over the past 2 quarters,” he added.

A spokesperson for Udaan confirmed the email, but declined to comment.

“Despite the funding-related challenges facing the larger startup ecosystem, this fundraiser reflects investors’ confidence in our business model and their endorsement of the journey to unity economics, driven by major advances in the evolution of our business model and cost efficiency, which we have seen last year. years have begun,” he wrote.

“These steps have not only helped us achieve a positive unit economy in the past quarter, but also improve the efficiency of the system, with huge cost benefits, which is essential for building a sustainable business and to be ready in 12-18 months.” to be for the public market.”

The vast majority of the business-to-business market in India remains unorganized. This means that merchants in the current country will have to travel to other cities – where all the major dealers operate – to replenish their stock. These merchants don’t have much leverage to negotiate, so they struggle to find the best value for money and access to a wider selection of catalogues.

Udaan – co-founded by former Flipkart executives Sujeet Kumar, Vaibhav Gupta and Amod Malviya – solves this problem by connecting small retailers with wholesalers and merchants. The startup today serves more than 3 million retailers and small and medium-sized businesses and has signed thousands of brands, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Boat Lifestyle, Micromax, HP, LG, ITC, HUL and P&G.

Besides the inventory problem, Udaan also helps traders to secure working capital. Small businesses, especially mom-and-pop stores, rely on the money they make by selling their existing inventory before buying their next batch. Since Udaan can see the involvement of various traders on the platform, it can determine who can provide it with safe working capital.

The startup named Gupta its chief executive last year. Prior to the move, Udaan had no CEO.

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