If you want to see the rapid growth and scale achieved by any early-stage startup in India, then keep an eye on the portfolio of startups under Sequoia’s accelerator program – Surge.
Here a case in point is Khatabook. Led by former C00 and co-founder of SoftBank-backed Housing.com, Ravish Naresh, the firm has built a product that digitises traditional khata-bahi for small merchants.
Khatabook claims that its merchant base grew by 12X to 1.8 million between March to July. In these four months, the transaction value also soared from $600 million to $2.3 billion.
In their 12 months of journey, the team including Naresh and other co-founders Jaideep Poonia, Dhanesh Kumar and Ashish Sonane, has managed to onboard 5 million registered merchants on the platform.
As of now, Khatabook has expanded its footprint across 3,000 cities of India.
Khatabook is a cash management tool, specially designed for tier II, tier III and beyond, used by 500 different types of businesses. The idea, apparently transforming businesses of micro SMEs as they are shifting the transaction details from manual to digital.
In a nutshell, it makes accounting and business record-keeping simple for small merchants and entrepreneurs. Sumit Agarwal-led Vyapar and Tiger Global-backed OkCredit are solving similar pain points.
According to Naresh, Khatbook had witnessed a whopping 18,000 crores entries in July. It reflects the potential of such a product with growing acceptance in the market.
Available in more than nine local languages, Khatabook attributes the hypergrowth to word-of-mouth marketing amongst the merchant communities. However, the company is also spending significantly on marketing to attract merchants towards its offering.
Till date, Khatabook hasn’t disclosed any monetisation plan. In a long haul, it aims to extend the credit line and provides insurance services to merchants.
Apart from backing by Sequoia Capital India and angel investor Anand Chandrasekaran, Khatabook is looking for a bigger round that may see participation from marquee investors like DST Partners fund, and Ribbit Capital.
Like Chandrasekaran, around 20 other angel investors including Gokul Rajaram, Jitendra Gupta, and Kunal Shah may also participate in the round.
Of the 15 startups selected under the Sequoia’s accelerator program, Flynote, Azani Sports, Skillmatics and Doubnut have already raised external fundings. Most recently Interviewbit Academy bagged $20 million round led by Tiger Global.
In the abovementioned startups, Doubtnut claims to have recorded 6X growth in monthly active user and 8X increase in daily active users in the past six months.