Lal10, a cross-border wholesale marketplace, has raised $5.5 million in its pre-Series A debt and equity round from Yuj Ventures (Xander Group) and Beyond Capital Ventures, according to The Economic Times.
In this round, $4 million comes from equity while the rest comes in the form of debt round.
The round also saw participation from many investors including Spiral Ventures, Singularity Ventures, Asymmetry Ventures, Blacksoil, Panthera Peak, Pegasus FinInvest, and angle investors like Nitish Mittersain of , Bikky Khosla of TradeIndia, Ashok Gudibandla of Notion and Kishore Ganji of Astir Ventures, according to The Economic Times.
The startup plans to use the funds for expansion in the United States, Japan and the Middle East and expand its technology-based supply chain solutions for buyers and technology innovations for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The US and Noida-based Lal10 was founded in 2017 by Maneet Gohil, Sanchit Govil and Albin Jose, It enables creative manufacturing MSMEs to easily digitize, manage and sell their inventory for cross-border wholesale.
“Lal10 is building technologies for the next craft revolution. As a brand, we intend to digitize the entire craft industry in India and prepare them for global wholesale,” said, Maneet Gohil, founder and CEO of Lal10.
The company said in a statement that India’s export GDP of $3.5 billion in creative products comes from a handful of production hubs such as Panipat, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Jaipur and Tirupur. However, India’s production capacity of over $160 billion with Tier III and IV production hubs like Bhagalpur, Pochampally, Maheshwar and Amroha is yet to hit the global map, according to The Economic Times.
“By building a cross-border platform for empowering Indian craft based MSMEs across the smaller towns and cities of India, Lal10 is creating a systemic change with their efficient tech-enabled supply chain,” said, Sid Yog, founder, Yuj Ventures, an early-stage investment platform.
According to the company, the business-to-business (B2B) rural-sourcing market is large, highly disorganized and geographically segregated. But with the advent of cheap, ubiquitous internet and smartphones in rural areas of India, the sector is set for disruption. And there is an untapped opportunity to leverage technology and software applications to overtake the challenges connecting SMEs with retailers in India and abroad and build a stronger global supply chain.
In March 2020, Lal10 had raised its seed funding round from US-based impact investment platform Sorenson Impact and a few angel investors.
The name Lal10 comes from the Hindi word “Lalten” which means “Lantern” in Hindi. Just like the simple lantern, they at Lal10 are bringing light into the lives of creative manufacturers across India. Lal10 enables creative manufacturing MSMEs to easily digitize, manage and sell their inventories for cross-border wholesale. Lal10 is Shopify + Alibaba for Indian MSMEs. Small manufacturers use Lal10’s Karigar application to digitize physical inventories which are available for RFQs on their global wholesale platform.
They are creating a maker’s revolution by digitizing micro and small manufacturers to take their creative products to global markets. India has over 1.2mn such MSMEs involved in the manufacturing of apparel, home furnishings, decor products. They have digitized 30k SKUs to date and are the largest vertical platform for MSMEs for cross-border wholesale in India.
Post pandemic layers of middlemen/ export houses and traditional channels of sales like exhibitions have been disrupted. They have created an efficient alternative with innovative technology-led solutions catering to these large and untapped supplies. They are seeing strong organic adoption of technology for quick market access by local manufacturers and pandemic has only accelerated its requirement.