This Fintech App Has 10 Million-Plus Downloads Within A Year Of Launch
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Growing at the rapid clip since its inception in December 2018, KhataBook—a B2B digital ledger mobile app—has a majority of its engagement coming from tier II and tier III cities. “With KhataBook, we found a perfect product market fit. India is a cash-intensive economy and all shopkeepers here have been maintaining khatas (ledger notebook) for decades and we basically latched on to this latent demand,” said Ravish Naresh, co-founder, KhataBook.
Khatabook was founded by Naresh, Jaideep Poonia, Dhanesh Kumar, and Ashish Sonone. Naresh attributes factors such as demonetisation, push for digitization by the government and a rapid increase in Internet usage—thanks to Reliance Jio which provided Internet at exceptionally low rates—for the adoption of Khatabook.
Clockwise from the left- Viabhav Kalpe, Ravish Naresh, Dhanesh Kumar, Ashish Sonone, Jaideep Poonia
Naresh claims that what makes KhataBook different from other fintech apps is its deep penetration in the interiors of India. “UPI payments are generally made in the metropolitan cities and not by first-time Internet users. “Through KhataBook, we could reach across all geographies in India. We even have 25 merchants using our app from Port Blair (comes under Andaman and Nicobar Islands),” says Naresh.
Lessons From The Past
KhataBook is Naresh third entrepreneurial venture. Housing.com and Kyte.ai were his earlier stints. Talking about the learning he has gained over the course of his journey, Naresh says, “The journey of KhataBook has been a lot more easier than my previous ventures. Experience provides a lot of context and learnings that you can implement. So, basically I am leveraging all my learnings from Housing.com.”
In September 2019, KhataBook raised $25 million in Series A funding led by GGV Capital, Partners of DST Global, Sequoia India and Tencent, among others. It has also been a part of Sequoia’s accelerator programme, Surge.
Bengaluru-based KhataBook is available in 11 languages. Some of its top-performing markets are Pune, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, New Delhi and Patna.
The Way Ahead
KhataBook intends to be the largest and the most trusted B2B platform for shopkeepers and small businesses in the country. “Right now kirana stores, mobile recharge shops, travel agents, etc., are our clients. We plan to use the funding received to launch products for MSMEs and digitize India’s shopkeepers accounting process,” said Naresh.
KhataBook plans to use the funds to develop financial assistance services such as billing and invoicing, GST calculation and inventory management on its app. Naresh shared that these are some of the products KhataBook will be working on to provide its customers in the next couple of quarters.
Apart from India, the app has received downloads from shopkeepers in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh but the company is currently solely focusing on expanding its footprint in the Indian market.