Aahaa stores, a B2B e-commerce company for office supplies, specializing in indirect purchases, has raised funding of $2 million in from UAE-based investment firm Group Calega. The new funds will be used for business expansion, enhance its technology base and infrastructure, and to acquire new talent.
The Chennai-based startup was founded in 2013 by Asokan Sattanathan, Rajaraman Sundaresan and Harish Kannan and offers solutions for office management. The company has clients including IndusInd bank, Tata AIG, TCS, Wipro, ITC Hotels, Oyo, Uber, Yes Bank, Equitas, Ashok Leyland, Bosch, Eicher, RBL- to name a few. The company had earlier raised capital funds twice, $1 million each from a group of investors led by YourNest.
Asokan Sattanathan said in a statement that the company is on course to achieve the first milestone of Rs 100 million per month sales, and that using these funds, it plan to expand the full range of curated assortment of products across all major brands in stationery, printed materials, housekeeping, electronics & IT, food & beverage, packaging and others.
B2B marketplace in India
Indian government allowed 100% FDI in B2B sector in 2012 with some restrictions. Following the policy change, several startups were set up in India within the B2B space, which saw active investments from both individual investors and venture capitalists. Aahaa competes with the players like Moglix, a B2B e-commerce company specializing in procurement of industrial products for manufacturers, which raised $12 million last year in July in a Series B investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Rocketship.vc, along with Moglix’s existing investors Accel Partners, Jungle Ventures, Shailesh Rao, and Samir Sood’s Venture Highway. Other players are like Industrybuying, OfBusiness, Power2SME, Tolexo from IndiaMart. Amazon India also has its B2B supply services for SMEs, at AmazonBusiness.in.