The Digital Enablers – Entrepreneur

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By Punita Sabharwal
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Sachin Agrawal hails from Sikar, Rajasthan and belongs to a family of academicians and civil servants. While Aniket is a technologist at heart and always wanted to build things that have large scale impact, are sustainable and long lasting. While Ankit loved building products and after a brief professional stint, he wanted to pursue his passion as an entrepreneur. All these co-founders of Bizongo have 15.66% stake and the majority is held by global fund houses including Tiger Global, B Capital Group, Trifecta Group, apart from Angel investors and ESOPs.
As founders, they were always passionate about powering small businesses with technology solutions to simplify their operations, and in turn, help them fulfill their business aspirations. “Inspired by the revolution that Alibaba brought in China, we too were keen in bringing a similar opportunity for SMEs to be a part of the larger digitization era in India. We have always believed that technology led enablement can significantly change the socioeconomic landscape if SMEs – the real backbone of the country – can be digitally empowered,” shares Sachin, who is an IIT alumnus and worked with Gravitas as a Risk Manager, advising on credit hedge fund portfolios worth over $15 billon for one of the largest alternative industry firm in US, prior to founding Bizongo.
Back in 2017, when the trio took the platform live, they started transforming the packaging industry. Given their innovative SaaS offering applicable to any industry, they gradually expanded to Consumer Staples, Consumer Discretionary, Home & Personal Care, Pharmaceuticals, Ecommerce/ Retail and Supply Chain. In that sense, the Madeto- Order industry is an ocean of opportunity as more industries accelerate their digital transformation. Currently, they are servicing more than 500 enterprise customers in steel, aluminum and other metals, e-commerce, retail, FMCG, auto ancillary, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and apparels and have a network of 8000+ partner manufacturers. They also work with more than 30 financial institutions to provide supply chain finance to their partner MSMEs.
The year 2023, was a challenging yet transformative year as it was marked by notable achievements, overcoming substantial obstacles, and charting a new course. Despite a prolonged funding winter, Bizongo raised $50 million from its existing investor in a Series-E funding round led by Schroder Adveq. Other participating investors included International Finance Corp, Chiratae Ventures, B Capital and British International Investment. This funding propelled the company to a valuation of $980 million, reflecting a substantial 63% increase from the previous round in August 2022.
However, the journey to this milestone was not without its hurdles. The funding landscape underwent a shift, reflecting the broader changes in the startup ecosystem. During the process, unexpected challenges emerged, including the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and a subsequent pullback from a potential funder.
Amidst these challenges, Bizongo demonstrated resilience and adaptability. “Our company generated Rs.50 crore of free cash flow in FY23, a testament to our financial discipline and operational efficiency. The strategic decision to focus on operational metrics and sustainable growth, even at the expense of rapid expansion, showcased a commitment to long-term stability. Furthermore, Bizongo embraced a rigorous audit process involving all four major auditing firms—EY, Pwc, Deloitte, and KPMG. This move added an extra layer of financial structure, aligning with our startup’s goal of being IPOready in the next 3-5 years,” adds Sachin.
Currently, Bizongo is EBIDTA level profitable for the last two years. With robust business fundamentals, it is working towards PBT profitability by close of fiscal March 24.
Entrepreneur Staff
Managing Editor, Entrepreneur India
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