Bzaar pockets $ 4 million to allow U.S. retailers to source Indian home goods – TechCrunch
Small businesses in the United States now have a new way to source home and lifestyle products from new manufacturers. bzaar, a business-to-business cross-border marketplace, connects retailers with more than 50 export-ready manufacturers in India.
The US-based company announced Monday it has raised $ 4 million in seed funding, led by Canaan Partners, and including angel investors Flipkart, co-founder of Flipkart, founders of PhonePe, Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, Addition founder Lee Fixel and co-founder of Helion Ventures. Ashish Gupta.
Nishant Verman and Prasanth Nair co-founded Bzaar in 2020 and see their company as a “fair without borders,” Verman said. Prior to founding Bzaar, Verman worked at Bangalore-based Flipkart until it was acquired by Walmart in 2018. He was then at Canaan Partners in the United States.
“We think the next 10 years of world trade will be different from the last 100 years,” he added. “This is why we believe this company must exist. “
Traditionally, small American buyers have not had their feet on the ground in manufacturing hubs, like China, to handle merchandise shipments the way large retailers have. Then Alibaba came along in the late 1990s and began to act as a gatekeeper for cross-border shopping, Verman said. U.S. imports of goods from China totaled $ 451.7 billion in 2019, while U.S. imports of goods from India in 2019 were $ 87.4 billion.
Small buyers could purchase items for the home and lifestyle, but this was usually through the same sellers, and there was often no unique selection, or products that were handcrafted or using organic materials, he added.
With Bzaar, small buyers can buy more than 10,000 products wholesale in its market from other countries like India and South East Asia. The company guarantees that the products arrive within two weeks and handles all packaging logistics and buyer protection.
Verman and Nair launched the marketplace in April, and thousands of users across three continents have purchased on the platform within six months. Meanwhile, products on Bzaar are up to 50% cheaper than domestic U.S. platforms, while the SKU selection doubles every month, Verman said.
The new funding will allow the company to invest in marketing to connect with buyers and invest in its technology to advance its cataloging function so that goods go through customs seamlessly. Wishing to offer new features to its SMB customers, Verman also intends to create a credit feature to allow buyers to pay in installments or up to 90 days later.
“We believe this is a unique change in the way world trade works,” he added. “You need the right team in place to do it because the problem is complex enough to move product from a small town in Vietnam to Nashville. With our infrastructure in place, the good news is that there are already stores and shoppers, and we’re bringing them together to give shoppers a seamless experience.