Leading industrialist Ratan Tata has invested in Moglix, an e-commerce company specialising in B2B procurement of industrial products, continuing his slew of investments in startups across the world. However, this is the first time that Tata is investing in a manufacturing tech-startup, adding to his varied portfolio of e-commerce and new-age technology enabled companies.
Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in the company.
This is Tata's sixth investment this year after investing in five companies -- DogSpot.in, Tracxn, CashKaro, FirstCry and Teabox -- last month.
Tata Trust Chairman and Senior Advisor to IDG Ventures India, Tata has made personal investments in startups, ranging from e-commerce firms to cab aggregators.
The top industrialist is an investor in firms like Snapdeal, Kaaryah, Urban Ladder, Bluestone, CarDekho, Sabse Technologies, China's Xiaomi, Ola and DogSpot.in.
Getting Tata's attention
"When we pitched to Tata, we did not expect him to invest in the venture. He is known to be extremely passionate about manufacturing and technology. In a recent newspaper article, Tata also mentioned his passion for the e-commerce sector. We are an early player in the space. He is India's icon and he will play an important role in mentoring us on business growth, global expansion and leadership," says Rahul Garg, Founder and CEO.
Founded in August 2015 by former Googler Rahul Garg, Moglix is focused on technologically disrupting the B2B industrial products space for suppliers and buyers across the globe. It specialises in B2B procurement of industrial products such as MRO, fasteners and industrial electricals.
It is partnering manufacturers and distributors across these categories in India, China and other Asian countries.
Moglix recently raised pre-Series A funding from Accel Partners and Jungle Ventures and the funds are being used to enhance the technology platform, build a deep supplier base as well as increase marketing spends across Asia.
With its pre-Series A funds, the start-up was able to raise its core team from just two members -- Garg and his head of business operations, to a team of 7. It also strengthened its tech platform, says Garg. "We are now the leaders with regard to speed on the platform, ease of searching products, and our model is scalable," he says.
Garg says that for the government's Make in India program to be a success, there is a need to bridge the gap between technology and manufacturing. With regard to sales and distribution, procurement and planning, Indian manufacturers have not been able to use the online platform and technology both for domestic and international markets. "That is a gap we plan to fill," says Garg.
Moglix has a client base of 100+ companies in the manufacturing sector. These companies typically have a turnover ranging from Rs 50 crore to Rs 1,000 crore. "We want to aim at companies that have Rs 5,000 crore turnover. By the end of this year, we will be adding 3,000-4,000 companies to our client base."