In Startup 50 2017: Shotang’s retail distribution platform solves critical problems for both the retailer and the manufacturer. Over the last year, Shotang has grown at breakneck pace – expanding from 1 to 7 cities, 500 to 15,000 retailers, 50 to 350 employees, and all this has enabled a 43x increase in GMV. Shotang is backed by Unitus Impact, Bitkemy Ventures and Exfinity Ventures.
Founders: Anish Basu Roy and Anterpreet Singh
Shotang, started in 2015, intends to play a critical role in helping the retail industry scale up by providing a robust technology platform for improving efficiencies and reducing costs in the retail distribution channel for retailers and manufacturers.
Being an open marketplace, Shotang helps manufacturers and distributors with rapid market access to new retailers. Retailers benefit from higher access to more suppliers, larger product assortment, better margins and formal lending.
Differentiation & Innovation in Implementation:
Being a platform makes Shotang’s solution different, as it helps the brand and retailer transact directly through suppliers who hold inventory in the channel. As against this, most competitors are stock-and-sell marketplaces who hold their own inventory.
Shotang has warehousing and logistics capabilities, a critical component of the retailer’s experience. They offer 24-hour delivery timelines and reverse logistics capabilities, which also is unique to Shotang. Yet another differentiator is that all retailer and supplier interfaces, as well workflows and business rules are designed keeping in mind the way business gets transacted offline. This helps users migrate easily to the technology platform with minimum dissonance. On top of that, Shotang also bridges the information asymmetry and slowly shifts from manual to automated way of doing work.
Since retailers are not very technology savvy, Shotang has designed the product to be simple and easy to use. As a result, the company has over 15000 retailers effortlessly ordering thousands of products, making payments and availing credit on the platform on a 4/5-inch screen of their smartphone. Shotang has grown their GMV rates by almost 43 times in the last one year and have gone from less than 500 retailers to almost 15,000 as of date across seven cities.
Unitus Impact, Bitkemy Ventures and Exfinity Ventures – US $300,000 in seed round and subsequently US$5 million as Series A (December 2015).
Cities present : 7 cities
Suppliers – 200+
Brands being sold : 135
Repeat order : 86%
Retailer retention – 69%