Microsoft app helps B2B marketplace Udaan become a high value start-up in India
Online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace unicorn Udaan has said that running its operations atop Microsoft Azure has helped it maintain a lean engineering set up. This has helped it become one of the highest valued start-ups in the country earlier than expected.
"The day we were valued at a billion dollars, we just had 17 engineers. That's the kind of productivity improvement that Microsoft Azure has offered," Udaan Co-founder Amod Malviya was quoted as saying in a Microsoft blog post on Friday.
Founded by Malviya, Sujeet Kumar, and Vaibhav Gupta, Udaan is today India's largest online B2B marketplace.
The company has been associated with Microsoft since its beginning, having been a part of the Microsoft Accelerator programme (now Microsoft for Startups) and by running on Microsoft Azure from day one.
"In terms of why we got started, I think the reason is pretty simple: Microsoft was most prompt and eager to get our business. And once that initial engagement started, they've continued to demonstrate a high amount of focus and energy in ensuring any issue we run into is resolved," Malviya said.
"What really mattered to us is the public position that Microsoft has taken. We see Microsoft as partners who empower us to be successful, and we don't have to worry that someday they'd compete with us," he added.
Before starting Udaan, the three founders worked together at Flipkart building business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce. They left the company in mid-2015 for individual reasons, but a few months later they were planning to start something together.
"We launched a private beta of our platform in November 2016 and remained in private beta till June 2017. Initially, it was difficult to even get sellers to entertain us," Malviya said.
With Udaan, the founders set out to solve some core problems in B2B commerce. They realised that sellers basically want growth by getting access to a larger number of buyers, access to credit, and a reliable supply chain.
They found that buyers want access to a selection of goods and sellers.
"With Udaan, we wanted to bring these sellers and buyers together on a single platform and solve their problems," Malviya added.
"The biggest thing that keeps me awake is the size of the problem and the size of the opportunity. The more we solve for B2B commerce, the more interesting problems show up, and secondary and tertiary opportunities open up. Now that Udaan is solving for reliable and quality supply for retailers, they are expecting Udaan to solve other challenges in their business," he added.
*Edited from an IANS report