The diversity in India’s crop of unicorn startups continues to grow.
Infra.Market has become India’s latest unicorn startup following a $100 million Series C round led by Tiger Global. Existing investors, including Foundamental, Accel Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Evolvence India Fund and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the round, which valued Infra.Market at $1 billion. This made the startup the latest entrant to India’s unicorn club, and the third in 2021.
Infra.Market isn’t a name that would ring a bell for most Indians, but it was founded 4 years ago, and aimed to help construction and real estate companies procure materials and handle logistics for their projects. The startup works with contractors, designers and engineers, materials manufacturers and component manufacturers to provide construction materials, and claims to help construction companies save 5%-7% of their input costs. Infra.market does this through offsite manufacturing, supply chain innovations, and using technology to manage mixed construction fleets. The company was founded by Souvik Sengupta and Aaditya Sharda, and is headquartered in Mumbai. It says it’s been profitable for the last four years.
“We are bringing a service layer to these small manufacturers, enabling them to grow their business. We don’t own the asset and are creating private label brands,” Souvik Sengupta told TechCrunch. “We are seeing rapid acceleration in demand as infrastructure and real-estate companies are looking to shift their procurement to get consistent quality and minimize delays,” he added. Infra.Market counts Larsen & Toubro, Tata Projects and Ashoka Buildcon among 400 large clients, and also sells to 3,000 small retailers. It says it’s on track to hit Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of $180 million. More than two-thirds of its sales are contributed by the company’s own brands, which include concrete, stone material, chemicals, and cement. Infra.Market says it’s is about to launch in-house brands in paints and plywood soon.
Infra.Market’s unicorn status shows that India’s startup ecosystem is maturing, allowing companies to create value outside the traditional domains of technology and e-commerce. Apart from the e-commerce unicorns, which were commonplace until a few years ago, India now has a gaming unicorn in Dream11, ed-tech unicorns in Byju’s and Unacademy, payments unicorns in BillDesk and Pine Labs, food delivery unicorns in Zomato and Swiggy, insurance unicorns in PolicyBazaar and Digit, and even a health-tech unicorn in Innovaccer. There are heartening signs for Indian entrepreneurs, who’ll realize that there are ever-more opportunities to build and grow ever-bigger — and ever varied — companies from the country in the years to come.