Every new venture or innovation gets formed by seeing the problems faced by citizens, customers or businesses. The inception of SpiderG, an e-invoicing technology provider for SMEs, is a case in point. It is estimated that there are 40 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India which deal with approximately 11 billion invoices in a year. Spending a lot of time and energy over making invoices, manually uploading them on the company systems and following up on payments and deals is a massive waste of time, but since small businesses don’t have a lot of money to throw around they have to live with this problem.
Sensing a market opportunity, SpiderG was set up by two smart entrepreneurs—Ashwani Rathore and Harshal Ingale—to solve the problems faced by SMEs about working capital mismanagement and crunch, which arises due to mismanaged accounts and limited access to easy and fast finance. The Pune-based start-up streamlines external and internal communication, helps track and manage receivable and payables. It is a SaaS product developer which provides real time actionable insights to users about their business, and their transactions with buyers and suppliers.
The parent company of SpiderG is Gladiris Technology, which started in December 2013 and was selling open source ERP software to SMEs. However, after implementing ERP in over a dozen companies, it realised that this was not enough. Ashwani Rathore, co-founder and CEO, SpiderG, says, “I and my co-founder realised that key issues faced by SMEs cannot be solved only through ERP software alone; after research of six months we incepted SpiderG in early 2015.”
SpiderG connects SMEs to financial institutions such as NBFCs and banks for funding based on the transaction data generated by SMEs on its platform. “SpiderG is a visibility solution tailor made for working capital management in SMEs. It acts as an easy book-keeping tool and provides SMEs real time visibility to all current transactions with customers and vendors,” he says.
According to Rathore, SpiderG serves around 2,000 businesses from across India and the plan is to take this number to 20,000 in this year. “We are targeting SMEs with less than `10 crore in revenue. Our focus is companies which face acute working capital crisis,” he says. “First, SpiderG will help them manage their receivables better so that they can get their money from customers on time and second, in case of cash shortage we give them access to collateral-free loans.”
On the venture’s financial performance and funding, Rathore informs: “We are targeting revenue of `1.5 crore this year. Next year we will target for `20 crore because we will have a whole bunch of revenue streams.” SpiderG has raised seed capital from top-notch industry veterans—Rahul Kirloskar (executive chairman, Kirloskar Pneumatic), Pravin Dongre (MD and CEO, Glencore Grain India), Fusion Tech Venture (Investment arm of Promod Chaudhari’s Praj Industries), Adi Sarvanan (founder and president, Allsec Technologies) and Ashish Nanda (Bhavna Holdings).
“The amount raised is to the tune of $150,000. We will be raising a pre-Series A round of around $5 million and then go for one more round of funding,” he adds.
SpiderG allows two businesses to transact electronically and collaborate on exchanged documents, thus forming a network. Rathore says, “Imagine a scenario where we are able to bring a significant number of companies on board transacting with each other. This would lead to formation of some sort of social graph for businesses. Other enterprise application developers could develop apps for SpiderG platform just like they do for Android or for Facebook.”
SpiderG is also creating a marketplace for collateral-free loans by collaborating with financial institutions. “This opens up a huge opportunity for us in the digital finance market,” Rathore says.