Power2SME, an online marketplace for small and medium enterprises engaged in manufacturing, has secured $10 million as an equity investment from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investing arm of the World Bank Group.
IFC will advise Power2SME on how to expand its business in India, adding more banks as partners, and increase the number of users on its platforms. Currently, the e-commerce player has operations in 14 states, and claims to have a registered SME base of 50,000 SMEs.
Power2SME enables SMEs to companies buy raw materials such as steel, polymer, chemicals, yarn etc at bulk prices and get working capital without collateral. The company has three platforms addressing challenges in raw material procurement, finance, and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) needs. Besides Power2SME, it has FinanSME which connects lenders with SMEs in order to provide working capital finance at better terms from banks and non-banking financial institutions for purchases on Power2SME, and SMEShops allows SMEs to buy consumable industrial goods.
Power2SME’s previous funding
The company is backed by venture capital firms such as Kalaari Capital, Accel Partners, and Inventus Capital. Nandan Nilekani had also joined as a strategic advisor through his investment in late 2015. In September 2014 , the company had raised Rs 42 crore in Series C funding from Inventus Capital, Kalaari Capital and Accel Partners. Prior to this, Power2SME had raised $6 million from Accel Partners in April 2013, and before that, it secured an undisclosed amount of Series A investment from Kalaari Capital in December 2012 and Rs 10 crore investment from Inventus Capital Partners in September 2012.
IFC’s recent investments in India
IFC makes direct equity investments in startups and as a limited partner in venture capital funds, and focuses on sectors like consumer internet, education technology, health technology, clean technology, and B2B eCommerce.
In July, IFC has invested $12 million along with other investors in a B2B ecommerce company specializing in the procurement of industrial products for manufacturers startup Moglix, which is also a competitor of Power2SME.
IFC had also previously invested in ed-tech startup Byju’s Learning, e-commerce player Lenskart, health-tech company Portea and internet provider Tikona. IFC claims that it has invested close to $1 billion in financial intermediaries in India to enable credit financing for SMEs, and has invested in over 400 companies in India since 1956.