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Exclusive: OkCredit and Khatabook enter Pagarbook’s forte with new apps

OkCredit and Khatabook are arch-rivals who have been fighting aggressively in the bookkeeping space. The scope of competition increased when both companies entered the e-commerce enablement space with separate products. Now, they have opened a new front by getting into Pagarbook’s forte – staff management.

Lightspeed-backed OkCredit has launched OkStaff while Sequoia-backed Khatabook is also offering a staff management app Pagarkhata. OkStaff made its debut on Android’s Play Store on October 30 and Pagarkhata released on November 4.

Entrackr had exclusively reported about Khatabook building its staff management product in September. The entry of two heavily-funded startups in this space points to the fact that there is a gold rush on, eyeing to make a presence in the SMEs sector with multiple use cases.

“Tapping into SMEs through a portfolio of products by OkCredit and Khatabook emphasise that bookkeeping opportunity for them is saturating and they are looking to hack growth from other use cases,” said one of the venture capitals who placed a bet in a startup that focuses on SMEs.

“If you observe the bookkeeping space closely in the past couple of months, you realise that gradually the narrative in bookkeeping shifted to e-commerce enablement,” the person added. 

Khatabook and OkCredit both had recently launched apps that enable digital storefronts for small and micro businesses instantly. Entrackr had exclusively reported about MyStore by Khatabook and OkShop by OkCredit.

Khatabook also entered into a legal fight with Rankz Inc’s app Dukaan that offers services akin to MyStore. The Karnataka High Court had banned the distribution of Dukaan app over Khatabook’s allegation of stealing MyStore’s source code. 

It’s worth noting that so far the staff management space was dominated by Pagarbook. Launched in December 2019, Pagarbook has close to 6 million downloads until last week, as per SensorTower’s data. Besides a dedicated mobile app, it also has a web version.

Pagarbook recently closed $7 million in a Series A round led by Sequoia Capital. According to Fintrackr, the company was valued at Rs 61 crore in the last round. 

With the launch of OkStaff and Pagarkhata, Pagarbook will face intense competition from its deep-pocketed rivals OkCredit and Kahatabook. Both companies have raised over $85 million each in funding from the likes of Lightspeed, B Capital and Tencent.

While experts tracking the space assert that Pagarbook has emerged as a promising product in the staff management space, the entry of the well-funded companies will certainly make merchant acquisition and overall growth expensive. 

Nevertheless, as we have seen, execution matters most when it comes to triumphs over deep-pocketed rivals. It would be exciting to see how Pagarbook continues its mojo with the entry of two new players in the space. 

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