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Brothers Akshay and Akash Hegde, while working on their family business, saw multiple pain points while in the market. These included procurement issues like sub-optimal pricing, delivery service levels, and streamlined supply that posed production challenges. At the same time, while trying to grow the market for their goods, the duo saw an opportunity to bring down the cost of distribution while driving volumes, realising higher margins and improving the cash cycles.
Hence, in 2016, the duo came up with the idea of ShakeDeal – a B2B ecommerce platform that solves problems in the procurement and distribution space. Soon, the brothers were joined by their friend Santhosh Reddy (34) as a Co-founder.
Besides being one of India’s largest procurement focused e-commerce platforms, they have proprietary sourcing, procurement and pricing intelligence tools that ensure and guarantee savings for procurement departments. They are currently associated with over 10,000+ SMEs and 200+ large enterprises including Adani, Vedanta, Saudi Aramco, Tata Consumer Products, Nayara Energy, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Shell and Flipkart.
ShakeDeal is backed by US based Private Equity Firm Vora Ventures. Talking about what role investors have played in the growth of the company, the brother vice in unison, “The bootstrapped days of the company were definitely the most challenging because building an e-commerce marketplace platform does require a significant amount of capital to induce the network effect and create critical mass. However, since raising funds from Vora Ventures we were able to successfully scale the business and are now close to 100 Cr annualised revenue run rate.”
2020 was a difficult year for SMEs because of the economic shock caused by the pandemic induced lockdown. However, in the aftermath of the lockdown, they have seen a very quick rebound with revenues crossing pre-covid levels. Much like the healthtech and ed-tech sectors, the procurement sector has also been a big beneficiary of the accelerated digitization seen post the pandemic.
ShakeDeal has been chaperoning large enterprises in making this digital transformation in the procurement space. Talking about the path to profitability, Hegde says, “While we aren’t profitable yet, we have scaled our business more than 30x since 2018. We have consistently finetuned our business model over the last 2 years and are on the path to profitability."
The B2B e-commerce ecosystem consists of many parts (marketplace, credit, payments, logistics, etc.) Going forward, ShakeDeal is constantly seeking profit-pools and looking to unlock value by improving its value offerings around these areas.