Bengaluru-based Zetwerk, an online marketplace that connects buyers and suppliers for manufacturing jobs, has raised $9 million (Rs 62 crore at current exchange rates) in a fresh round of funding.
In a press note, Zetwerk Pvt. Ltd, which operates the company, stated that it had raised the sum as part of its Series A round from venture capital firms Sequoia India, Accel and Kae Capital. It did not mention how it would utilise the funds.
Prior to this, the company had raised $1.2 million in a seed round in August 2018. According to data available with VCCEdge, the financial and data research platform of News Corp VCCircle, the funding was secured from Kae Capital and Sequoia India.
“Today if you want to order a $5 bag of tea you can find the best one online and it’ll ship to you from anywhere in the world. But if you want to order or sell a factory part worth thousands of dollars, there’s very little visibility into where to find the perfect part or buyer,” Prayank Swaroop, partner at Accel, stated.
The startup was founded in June 2018 by Amrit Acharya and Srinath Ramakkrushnan. The company connects mid-to-large original equipment manufacturers from India and Southeast Asia who need custom products and machine parts with companies who can meet this demand.
Acharya is an alumnus of IIT Madras and University of California, Berkeley. He previously worked at McKinsey’s Silicon Valley office in the USA and at ITC Ltd. Ramakkrushnan is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded OfBusiness and had served as head of supply at BlackBuck and ITC prior to setting up his venture, the statement said.
On the supply side, Zetwerk works with manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises across multiple categories such as fabrication, machining, casting, forging, etc. who can meet this demand, the press note stated.
The four-year-old startup also provides project management software to OEMs allowing them track the status of their projects from order till delivery in real-time.
“There are lakhs of manufacturing SMEs in India today. Majority of them have good skills in manufacturing, but lack skills in marketing and project management. OEMs globally want to procure from these SMEs but lack a technology platform to discover which SME can meet their quality and delivery criteria,” Ramakkrushnan stated
According to Zetwerk, this sector still largely transacts offline and this is where it hopes to make a difference by making the discovery process easier online. Besides, custom manufacturing is a $40-billion market opportunity in India alone, with more than 2,500 OEMs and lakhs of manufacturing SMEs spread throughout the country, it added.