The ESOP buyback has been rolled out to 45 eligible current and ex-employees, as part of the closure of Fleetx’s Series B funding led by IndiaMart, with existing investors India Quotient and BEENEXT also participating, according to a statement.
Fleetx.io, an intelligent freight visibility and fleet management platform, has announced that it has facilitated ESOPs for a significant number of its employees as part of the recent fund raise.
The liquidity transaction for the same has totalled approximately Rs 3.9 crore.
The ESOP buyback has been rolled out to 45 eligible current and ex-employees, as part of the closure of Fleetx’s Series B funding led by IndiaMart, with existing investors India Quotient and BEENEXT also participating, according to a statement.
Vineet Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, Fleetx.io, said, “Fleetx’s growth is a reflection of our people and their contribution; it wouldn’t have been possible without our people to reach where we are today. ESOPs liquidity is our way to thank them for their continuous effort and the belief they have in us. We are a great believer of ESOPs and continue to create a culture of responsibility with rewards along with significant financial upside which can’t be achieved with just salary.”
“We are looking to double down on our product and technology and scale our GTM capabilities. While we continue to focus and scale in the Indian market, we are evaluating some of the geographies outside India as well. We believe that our product can compete globally even today, and it’s just about cracking the GTM with the right strategy and great people,” added Sharma.
Founded in 2017 by IIT, NIT and Purdue University graduates, Vineet Sharma and his co-founders Abhay Jeet Gupta, Udbhav Rai, Parveen Kataria and Vishal Misra, Fleetx offers a suite of IoT and software-based products to help industries digitise their logistics operations and helps them improve safety, efficiency and sustainability of their vehicles and operations.
Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of IndiaMART, recently appeared in a Prime Venture Podcast to talk about his company’s journey from inception to IPO.
In 1995, when the then Prime Minister PV Narashima Rao declared that the internet had finally arrived in India, Dinesh Agarwal quit his job in HCL America and returned to India. He admitted that he had no idea back then what he wanted to do in India with the internet. However, while searching for potential Indian exporters for whom he could develop websites, Dinesh stumbled upon the idea of building an online B2B marketplace.
Today, IndiaMART’s market capitalisation is over Rs 14,800 crore. In an episode of the Prime Venture Podcast, the IndiaMart CEO talked about how his journey has been strategic and enlightening.
Dinesh admitted that IndiaMART’s initial days were not exactly comfortable. “In those days, the Indian user base was very minuscule. [There were] hardly 5,000-10,000 users in India,” he recollects. However, the first turning point came when Dinesh and his team decided to follow a B2C-like approach in the Indian B2B space.
“For five years, starting from 1997 to 2001, we did a free listing of every export business. When we received inquiries for those businesses every day, we printed them in the evening, faxed them overnight, and next day, sent those inquiries by post,” says Dinesh. This online-offline hybrid model made IndiaMART a popular name among Indian export businesses.
Following this, the dot-com bust enabled IndiaMART to acquire a deep pool of talent. Dinesh shared that while most dot-com companies were folding around them, IndiaMART was profitable, which enabled them to attract both talent and customers.
Dinesh mentioned that for almost 10 years, IndiaMART expanded slowly. Till 2007, the site was only listing export businesses and offering website development along with search engine optimisation. “But during 2007-08, a few things started changing. One, the domestic internet adoption took off. Second, mobile phones became very powerful. Third, [there] was a lot of domestic inquiry. And fourth, I could see that now exports are not going to go anywhere over the next couple of years.”, he adds.
He turned his attention to India’s B2B market because he saw an opportunity as both the buyer and supplier existed in the same place. IndiaMART’s founding team finally decided to raise funds to expand exponentially. “And in 2010, we did ‘blitzscaling’. In 52 weeks, we opened 52 offices,” he recollects.
Dinesh switched gears to talk about what he thought about bundling and unbundling in the Indian B2B space. “In the US and China, there may be 20 large verticals which are billion-dollar-plus. [But] in India, there are hardly four [such] verticals,” explains Dinesh. He added that India is still 10 years away from having strong verticals like in the West and India’s path to that destination will also be very different.
He urged all aspiring entrepreneurs to think long-term, keep learning, and don’t quit. “Keep learning the tricks of the game. There is no point in quitting. Quitting is not advisable. You just keep participating, keep participating, and don’t die. Those are the only two things. Don’t quit and don’t die.”, said Dinesh.
To know more listen to the podcast here
01:00 – Founding story of IndiaMART
09:00 – IndiaMART’s journey into the domestic B2B space
20:00 – Bundling and unbundling; verticalisation; superapps
25:00 – Opportunities in Indian B2B space
29:10 – Keep learning and don’t go home
IndiaMART, the largest B2B marketplace of India has made an investment of approximately INR 170.1 Million in Zimyo Consulting Private Limited.
Zimyo Consulting under the brand name ‘Zimyo’, offers SaaS-based human resource management software for businesses. It allows users to carry out critical HR processes including recruitment and onboarding, payroll management, performance management, and time & attendance management. It also includes employee benefits modules which offers salary advance, personal loan and health & term insurance to employees.
Speaking about the investment, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, Founder, and CEO of IndiaMART said “COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of SaaS-based HR Management solutions by new age as well as traditional businesses. Apart from their core Payroll and attendance management modules, we also feel that there is immense potential in Zimyo’s vision of providing comprehensive HR management modules and other benefits to employees as well as employers. This investment is another step towards IndiaMART’s long term vision of providing a holistic ecosystem for all business needs, and we are excited to partner with the Zimyo team for their next phase of growth”
Adding to this, “India is home to one of the world’s youngest populations, which by 2050 is expected to account for over 18% of the global working population. Millions of employees of the small and mid-size businesses, which form over 45% of this working population are forced to choose between paper or HR solutions that aren’t designed for them. Zimyo wishes to bridge the gap. We want to be the go-to HR Platform that both the SMB and the employee chooses for meeting its HR and benefits’ needs”, said Mr. Kumar Mayank, CEO of Zimyo.
Since its listing on BSE and NSE, IndiaMART has invested in companies such as Vyapar, Bizom, Shipway, Legistify, Superprocure, Aerchain, M1xchange, Easyecom, Fleetx, Industry Buying, Realbooks, and BUSY. All these investments are part of IndiaMART’s long-term objective of offering various software solutions which improve ease of doing business for Indian businesses and Enterprises.
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IndiaMART, the largest B2B marketplace of India, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Tradezeal Online Private Limited, has announced an investment of approximately Rs 13.75 Crores in Adansa Solutions Private Limited. As part of the transaction, IndiaMART has agreed to acquire shares via a mix of primary and secondary share purchases, and its final shareholding post the round shall stand at 26.01%
Adansa Solutions under the brand name ‘Realbooks’, offers a cloud-based accounting software product for businesses. Furthermore, it enables businesses to create customized invoices, attach files to vouchers, and manage their inventory. It also allows the managing of different business units from a single dashboard.
Speaking about the investment, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, CEO of IndiaMART said “We at IndiaMART firmly believe that Indian businesses are diverse and have varied accounting and billing needs. Unlike existing desktop-based software solutions which were designed for traditional businesses, the team at Realbooks has consciously designed a cloud-first product that makes it appealing for new-age businesses. We believe that this investment complements other initiatives we are taking within this space, and are excited to partner with them for their next phase of growth”.
Adding to this, “We are very happy to welcome IndiaMART as an investor and our strategic partner. It’s an exciting time for businesses in India and technology like UPI and GST is bringing new opportunities and challenges. We are solving two problems for Indian businesses. We are organising financial data for companies working pan India having offices in multiple cities and states such as logistics, auto dealerships, e-commerce. We have created a platform for CAs firms to provide accounting services to their clients and manage their compliances with integrated GST solutions. RealBooks along with IndiaMART is committed to being at the forefront of this revolution, creating a collaborative and integrated ecosystem for finance and accounting”, said Mr. Anurag Mohta, CEO of Realbooks.
Since its listing on BSE and NSE, IndiaMART has invested in companies such as Vyapar, Bizom, Shipway, Legistify, Superprocure, Aerchain, M1xchange, Easyecom, Fleetx, Industry Buying, and BUSY. All these investments are part of IndiaMART’s long-term objective of offering various software solutions which improve ease of doing business for Indian businesses and Enterprises.
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Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, IndiaMart, believes that digitisation and significant capital investments in the last two decades have contributed towards the exponential rise of the Indian startup ecosystem
The Economic Survey 2021-22, released last month, showed that India had become the world’s third largest-startup ecosystem after the US and China. It notes that the government in that past year recognised over 14,000 new startups compared to 733 in 2016-17. Moreover, India saw a record 44 startups turning unicorns in 2021 and just two months into the new year, India has already registered ten unicorns. What explains this exponential growth of India’s startup ecosystem?
Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO, India Mart, says that digitisation and significant capital investments in the last two decades have resulted in this dramatic growth of the Indian startup ecosystem.
“Twenty years ago, the whole venture capital or private equity capital or risk capital which doesn’t come with a debt mindset was not available. The whole concept of valuation and exits was probably not there. So, people were building the slow growth model of cash flow-based business approval. Secondly, the number of internet users jumped significantly due to the IT penetration, and in accordance with that, the number of mobile users went up. This gave a lot of opportunities to write software and start businesses. These two, I believe, have propelled the whole startup ecosystem in India to a great extent,” says Aggarwal.
Watch the complete video here to listen to Aggarwal elaborating on the digitisation aspect, what it means to be an entrepreneur, why people aspire to become an entrepreneur and whether founders should have a ‘Plan B?’
In order to build a flexible and supportive working environment for its employees, IndiaMART becomes the first Indian organization to move to a weekly salary pay disbursement regime. In line with the evolving flexi work culture & the changing motivational needs of the employees, the organization has taken this revolutionary step to enrich them with stability, purpose, and growth.
The consistent flow of money is essential to the well-being of any individual. We all know that employees receiving their salaries on time is probably more important than the rest of the HR initiatives combined. This is especially relevant in light of the current pandemic where millennia workers, who in many instances, live on their own away from home, struggle financially with their once-a-month pay-checks and are deeply impacted by the profound lack of flexibility in their payrolls. Now more than ever before, employees value experiences, financial freedom, a flexible work culture, and a work-life balance more than a simple collection of assets.
Weekly Payouts are, therefore, a big step in the direction of promoting employee wellness. Weekly payouts are already common in mature economies like New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and the U.S. Their benefits have been tested out and proven over many years. Taking into account the benefits to the employees, their preferences as well as the changing dynamics of the global economy, IndiaMart has taken another first initiative to disburse the salaries on weekly basis rather than monthly.
Paying employees on weekly basis makes it easier for them to meet their real-time fiscal obligations. Not to mention how the excitement of the payday increases fourfold with the weekly payout, making employees more satisfied, happier, and, consequently, more motivated towards their purpose in the organization. Weekly Payout System, goes a big way in helping employees alleviate their financial hardships and regain control of their lives – positioning them for success in every aspect.
Speaking of his decision to introduce weekly payout, a first for any organization in the country, Dinesh Gulati, COO of IndiaMart has said, “Amidst the rapidly evolving Flexi work culture, instant gratification is what every employee expects. We believe weekly payouts will be appreciated by one and all across the organization. We had started taking steps in this direction many years back when we migrated to weekly incentive payouts for many roles across the organizations.”
IndiaMART has always been at the forefront of enhancing employee satisfaction. With the advent of the pandemic, IndiaMART was one of the first organizations to implement complete work from home and integrate relevant processes for the smooth operation of the business ensuring the safety of both employees and customers.
The company also noticed the limitations on opportunities available and the skill gap that was deepening because of the pandemic. So, for upskilling and providing financial assistance programs to their workforce throughout the pandemic, the company introduced programs like iLeaps, iBuds, and Own your Desktop that enabled IndiaMART employees to work efficiently from their homes by extending to them the resources to own their office laptops and providing discounted rates on online courses to expand their horizons.
Beyond their own workforce too, over the past two years, IndiaMART has taken several steps to reach the underserved segments of the workforce through their Online Associate program, onboarding over 3500 freelancers including persons with disabilities, women who were trying to return after career breaks and aspirants from remote locations.
Their new step is just another move in the same direction.
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MUMBAI, NEW DELHI : IndiaMART InterMESH Ltd, one of India’s oldest internet firms, has been actively investing in startups since its listing in 2019. In this fiscal year 2021-22 alone, the business-to-business (B2B) marketplace has invested over $100 million across nine companies. One of the deals included a 100% acquisition of accounting software company Busy Infotech Pvt. Ltd for ₹500 crore in its biggest deal so far.
Noida-based IndiaMART, a beneficiary of venture capital and private equity investors like Amadeus Capital and WestBridge Capital before it went public, has made 11 investments worth over ₹950 crore since its listing.
“After we got listed in July 2019, we thought of expanding the ecosystem of IndiaMART,” Dinesh Agarwal, co-founder and chief executive officer, IndiaMART told VCCircle in a virtual interaction.
A closer look at the company’s 11 investments shows that it is looking to expand horizontally at a time when competition in the online B2B e-commerce space is heating up from new-age technology companies such as Udaan, Zetwerk, and Moglix among others, which have pocketed significant venture funding over the last three years and are fast expanding in the country.
However, Agarwal noted that IndiaMART is different from the new-age companies and is making investments in startups, not because of competition from them. “I’m not diversifying because I am facing competition there. I’m simply saying that because I generate a good amount of cash, capital allocation is one important aspect that one should always be looking at,” he added.
Agarwal said IndiaMART’s investments have primarily been in companies catering to three sectors accounting and finance, marketing, and logistics that provide business enablement solutions. As of now, the accounting space has cornered the biggest share of IndiaMART’s investments at over ₹600 crore across three firms.
In September 2019, the company picked up a 26% stake in Simply Vyapar Pvt. Ltd, marking its first bet in the accounting space. Vyapar offers a GST (goods and services tax) billing, accounting, and inventory management product for small businesses allowing them to digitize their business operations and claims to have over 100,000 paying customers for its product. In January this year, IndiaMART made a follow-on investment in the company. It currently holds a 27% stake in Vyapar and has so far invested ₹92.75 crore in it.
“Ever since I know computers, the first and foremost use of it has been accounting for businesses. So that’s the first need of every business. In 2015-16 when the change happened from the desktop computer to the mobile computer or mobile smartphones, that’s when I was looking for a company that is more mobile-friendly on accounting and that’s why I invested in Vyapar,” said Agarwal.
IndiaMART made its second accounting bet on EasyeEcomm, a platform that offers ready integrations with major e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon, web storefront providers such as Shopify, Zepo, and StoreHippo, and logistics providers such as Delhivery and Bluedart. IndiaMART invested ₹13.35 crore for a 26% stake in EasyEcomm. The company made its biggest bet in the accounting space in January this year by acquiring a 100% stake in Busy Infotech Pvt. Ltd for ₹500 crore. Busy, founded in 1997, offers an accounting software platform.
“This (the acquisitions) expands our ecosystem. Not everybody today wants an online marketing lead chain like IndiaMART, but everybody wants some kind of accounting solution, and that expands our base,” Agarwal added. Agarwal further said he was confident of these investments helping IndiaMART acquire more customers going forward.
Other than accounting, IndiaMART has invested heavily in logistics companies, by making investments worth ₹154.85 crore in as many as five companies to date.
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After the announcement, shares of IndiaMART InterMESH (the parent company) rose by 2.24% hitting an intraday high of INR 4,930 on NSE
Apart from IB Monotaro, IndiaMART’s recent deals include Busy Infotech, Vyapar, EasyEcom, Mynd Solution, among others
Started 25 years ago by Dinesh Agarwal and Brijesh Agarwal, IndiaMART has a market cap of INR 15,100 Cr on the stock exchanges
B2B marketplace IndiaMART has acquired a 26% stake in Japan-based IB Monotaro, buying the 810K shares from Emtex Engineering for a total consideration of INR 104.2 Cr. The venture aims to serve B2B businesses by offering an end-to-end commerce experience enablement.
Pursuant to this transaction, Monotaro (the parent company of IB Monotaro) will hold a 51.6% stake, IndiaMART’s parent company will hold a 26% stake and Emtex Engineering which represents the promoter group and early investors will hold a 22.4% stake in IB Monotaro.
After the announcement, shares of IndiaMART InterMESH (the parent company) rose by 2.24% hitting an intraday high of INR 4,930 on NSE.
IB Monotaro under its brand name ‘Industry Buying’ is engaged in the e-commerce business for industrial and business supplies in India. According to IndiaMART founder and CEO Dinesh Agarwal, the venture will enable IndiaMART to expand category experience of Monotaro combined with IndiaMART’s leverage over buyers and suppliers in the domestic market.
In a press briefing, he mentioned that while IndiaMART is a horizontal marketplace and caters to 50 industries with 97,000 different product and service categories such as raw materials, made to order and customised goods, it is mainly a discovery-to-negotiation-to-conversational commerce platform.It is a large discovery to conversational commerce platform with links to payment facilitation and business enablement.
“However, IB Monotaro is specifically going to focus upon MRO products (maintenance, repair, and operating supplies), industrial goods and consumables and that too, on a pure online order and immediate shipping basis,” Aggarwal answered to the query raised by Inc42.
On IndiaMART, an industry buyer can connect with manufacturers for custom needs, raw material, perform negotiations, have a conversation platform, a CRM platform; whereas IB Monotaro will be a B2B ecommerce platform.
Started 25 years ago by Dinesh Agarwal and Brijesh Agarwal, IndiaMART has a market cap of INR 15,100 Cr on the stock exchanges. It recorded INR 2,523 Cr under cash and investment in Q3 of FY22, a 121% year-on-year rise from INR 1,143 Cr in Q3 of FY21.
In Q2 of FY22, it posted INR 2,466 Cr under cash and investment. The company posted a profit after tax worth INR 70 Cr in Q3 of FY22, a 12% drop from INR 80 Cr it clocked in Q3 of FY21 and a 14% drop from INR 82 Cr it posted in Q2 of FY22.
The company competes against new age tech companies including Meesho, IPO-bound Udaan, DealShare, among others and with the addition of IB Monotaro, it now also locks horns with US-based Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart.
Apart from IB Monotaro, IndiaMART’s recent deals include 100% acquisition of accounting software Busy Infotech for INR 500 Cr; pumping INR 217.5 Cr in SMB focussed billing platform Vyapar; investing INR 13.35 Cr EasyEcom for 26.01% stake; investing INR 32.4 Cr to acquire a stake in Mynd Solutionfor its TReDs platform M1xchange, among others.
Partners with Japan based firm to build India’s largest B2B e-commerce platform in MRO category
IndiaMart, the largest B2B marketplace of India, has acquired 26% (on fully diluted basis) share capital of IB Monotaro Private Limited (“Industry Buying”). The company acquired 8.1 lakh shares from Emtex Engineering Private Limited for a total consideration of INR 104.2 Cr.
Pursuant to this transaction, MonotaRO Co. Ltd. (Japan) will hold 51.6% stake, IndiaMart will hold 26% stake and Emtex Engineering Pvt Ltd (representing the promoter group and early investors) will hold 22.4% stake in Industry Buying.
Along with the core capabilities of discovery and conversation, this investment is aligned to the strategic vision of IndiaMART to enable commerce for the MSMEs. MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations Supplies) is a USD 50Bn market in India and is growing at a CAGR of 12% YoY. With the increased adoption of internet and GST shifting the market to online platforms, this tie-up possesses an opportunity for both IndiaMART and MonotaRO.
Speaking about the investment, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, founder and MD of IndiaMART said “This transaction is a part of strategic initiative of moving towards commerce enablement. Category experience of MonotaRO combined with the IndiaMart leverage over buyers and suppliers in the domestic market will help in the future growth and expansion of this company.”
Masaya Suzuki, CEO, MonotaRO Japan commented “This capital participation by IndiaMart will further accelerate IB Monotaro’s growth in India, leveraging the B2B MRO e-commerce expertise MonotaRO has built up in Japan. We aim to become the leading B2B e-commerce platform in India”
Swati Gupta, CEO IMPL commented “IndiaMart is the largest online B2B marketplace in India. MonotaRO possess expertise in the industrial B2B ecommerce and IndiaMart has deep understanding about the Indian markets. We are very excited to partner with both of them and take industrybuying.com to new heights in the coming years”
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IndiaMART, the largest B2B marketplace of India, has announced an investment of Rs 91.4 Crores in Fleetx Technologies Private Limited (‘Fleetx.io’). As part of the transaction, IndiaMART has agreed to acquire shares via a mix of primary and secondary share purchases, and its final holding post the round shall stand at 16.5%. Fleetx.io has raised a total of Rs.145 Crores in this round, led by IndiaMART along with participation from existing investors IndiaQuotient and BEENEXT.
Fleetx.io is a freight and fleet management software that helps both fleet operators and businesses to digitize their operations and helps them improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of their vehicles and operations. By harnessing IoT and machine learning, Fleetx is enabling the digital transformation of the logistics industry and helping all stakeholders get actionable insights and improve their operations. Some key use cases of the fleetx.io platform include Real-time Visibility, Improved Asset Utilization, Theft Prevention, Fuel Savings and Improved Vendor Performance.
Speaking about the investment, Mr. Dinesh Agarwal, founder and MD of IndiaMART said “Supply Chain Visibility is a critical yet underserved problem faced by Indian businesses and Fleet Owners. FleetX has been able to validate and scale an innovative IoT and SaaS-based solution to this problem. Moreover, they have been able to successfully develop and cross-sell solutions for various other pain points felt by businesses across their supply chain, such as theft prevention and asset utilization. Vineet and the rest of the Fleetx team are experienced professionals with rich experience in working together to deploy technology at scale, and we are excited to partner with them for their next phase of growth. ”
Commenting on the fundraise, Vineet Sharma, CEO and Co-founder of Fleetx.io said, “We are thrilled to onboard IndiaMART in our mission to increase safety, efficiency, and digitization in the logistics and transportation industry. We also want to thank our existing investors for their continuous belief and support in our mission. Customer is the center of our mission and this investment will enable us to keep innovating on behalf of our customers, taking our product leadership further ahead and taking it to global markets. We will be utilizing the investment primarily for talent acquisition, enhancing product and technology and scaling GTM capabilities
Logistics & Transportation is a backbone for any economy across the globe and has been running on manual processes, with siloed systems and spreadsheets with no real-time visibility. The digital transformation in the logistics industry is just getting started with penetration level is still less than 10% in developing countries. Covid has exposed the fragileness in the supply chain industry and created an urgency for freight digitization, prompting Gartner to predict that 50% of leading global enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility solutions by 2023. We are building an end-to-end platform to solve the opaque operations and siloed systems through technology and helping customers to visualize their physical logistics operations in real-time, on one integrated platform”.
“Fleetx was one of India Quotient’s first few SaaS investments when we realized that Indian businesses will begin to adopt softwares. From sales to fleet owners (transport sector) in the beginning, they have scaled the product to fit many industries such as FMCG, Automotive, Cement, Iron & Steel, and E-com, etc. Today 70% of their revenue comes from mid to large customers. Logistics & Supply Chain SaaS is a massive market globally and Fleetx, growing more than 100% YoY, will soon enter other SEA countries” Said Mr. Gagan Goyal, Partner at IndiaQuotient.