If you have been following us, then you are aware of the spectacular performance of Indian startups last year. One would hope that they scale similar heights this year and raise billions and even become unicorns. Additionally, several companies went public last year – few can forget Zomato’s spectacular IPO, which was followed by the likes of Nykaa among others. Even as it is eyeing an IPO in the future, B2B e-commerce startup Udaan raised $200 million in debt financing through convertible notes today.
A convertible note is a debt instrument that the holder can convert into shares in the company or cash of equal value. Apart from the startup’s existing investors, five new investors took part in the financing round. The round was also oversubscribed by 2 times.
The new investors include Arena Investors, and M&G Investments. This comes a few months after Udaan announced that it would be venturing into the consumer-focused grocery sector with its new platform Price Company. Udaan itself has raised $250 million in the last few months via debt sales. It had also raised another $50 million through debt in the last quarter of last year and has raised $1.4 billion in funding to date.
According to an internal company note sent by Udaan CFO Aditya Pande, the raising of debt reflected the company’s “broadening the capitalization strategy as we architect our journey for public markets and thereafter. With this convertible offering, we, as a company, have started building a completely new muscle in our finance function — which we will continue to strengthen as we go forward.”
The six-year-old Udaan was founded by former Flipkart employees Vaibhav Gupta, Sujeet Kumar, and Amod Malviya with a vision to transform the trade ecosystem and empower small businesses by leveraging technology. The company provides a B2B marketplace for manufacturers and wholesalers to sell their products to retailers. It operates across various categories including lifestyle, electronics, home & kitchen, staples, fruits & vegetables, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, toys, and general merchandise. It also provides logistics operations (through udaanExpress) and financial products and services to small businesses, manufacturers, and retailers (through udaanCapital).
Today, it is aiming to clock Udaan gears for year-over-year growth of 80% over the next three to five years. It also claims to have over 3 million users, 1.7 million retailers, and 30,000 sellers on its platform across the country.
Last September, Udaan co-founder Vaibhav Gupta took over as CEO. At that time, the company had said that it intended to become a publicly listed company in the next 18-24 months. If it goes through with it, it will be one of the first Indian startups to go public this year.