Soptle, a Gurugram-based SaaS startup by a 20-year-old Pravas Chandragiri, aims to solve a big problem for Indian FMCG manufacturers: expanding into newer regions within the country in a faster and more efficient manner.
Conventionally, a manufacturer has to do a lot of leg work when they want to expand from their home market to another. This means scouting for the right local manufacturing, distribution, and retail partners. It’s time-consuming and tedious, especially for a manufacturer who doesn’t know much about the local distribution and retail ecosystem.
Soptle tries to present an alternative to this system through its SaaS platform that gives FMCG manufacturers access to desired distribution, manufacturing, and channel networks in a particular region. The objective is to help FMCG manufacturers easily expand their sales in newer regions, and eventually scale up their business.
The platform provides tools for day-to-day workflow management which includes procurement and distribution. The startup also runs a partnership program for retailers with one of the benefits being access to a wide range of items from different brands from a single interface.
Launched in 2021 by Chandragiri, Soptle has already onboarded more than 65 manufacturing partners. Its distribution network consists of over 50,000 retailers and distributors.
“We have seen various transformations in B2B retail segments in the last 20 years, but no one cracked the code for the B2B market, and one fundamental problem still remains unsolved- geographic expansion at zero fixed cost,” Chandragiri told Entrackr.
He further said that a manufacturer-centric approach is the next step in the evolution of B2B marketplaces. He added that the company is aiming to disrupt the Indian FMCG commerce, which is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 14.9% to reach US$ 220 billion by 2025.
Chandragiri clarified that the company’s a bit different from Udaan, a B2B ecommerce unicorn, as the latter focuses mainly on retailers.
“Our interest area is mainly helping regional manufacturers expand their business to new geographic locations at zero fixed cost,” he explained.
The startup makes money by charging a commission on transactions of goods. The commission could be between 5% and 8%. Other sources of revenue for the company include logistics and ancillary services.
Earlier this month, Soptle raised $300,000 in an angel round led by venture firm Kube VC and Soonicorn LLP. Vaishnav Shetty, Pirojshaw Sarkari, Ankur Agarwal, Saurabh Aggarwal, Himanshu Periwal, and others also participated in the round. In August, Soptle had raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round led by Soonicorn LLP and a clutch of logistics leaders.
The company’s future plans include increasing its distribution capacity by up to 20x, building a larger technology team, and continuing to scale up the business.