Indian B2B marketplace IndiaMART believes its six-month-old Tolexo arm could pass $1 billion in gross merchandise value by 2017 and hit $10 billion in transactions by 2020, according to DNA India.
That would happen if IndiaMART — which matches up B2B buyers and sellers but doesn’t actually make the transactions, which are worth $16 billion annually — can funnel 10 percent of its business to Tolexo, which actually sells goods.
Based on Tolexo’s growth, that sounds plausible. Tolexo CEO Brijesh Agrawal said the e-marketplace “should be growing 30 times (year on year) in the next 12 months doing 25,000 transactions everyday,” based on Tolexo’s current growth rate.
But seeing how that would work requires understanding IndiaMART’s marketplace business model. IndiaMART displays a huge range of products online — 24 million products across 100,000 categories — with a variety of sellers available. For about 500,000 products in 21 categories, customers currently have the option to buy online through Tolexo, which handles product selection, payments, customer support and fulfillment. By the end of 2015, Tolexo will have 10 million products across 10,000 categories, Agrawal said.
Customers are typically SMEs with between $2 million and $26 million in revenue, though large companies — including big multinationals like P&G and Honeywell — are also trying the platform, he said.
Ironically, IndiaMART is going in the opposite direction from Indian eCommerce giant Flipkart. While IndiaMART is hoping Tolexo can capture 10 percent of the business it attracts, Flipkart is trying to detach itself from WS Retail, its one-time affiliate that still fulfills 80 percent of the sales made on Flipkart’s marketplace.
But Flipkart, which primarily sells to consumers, isn’t the eCommerce rival that Tolexo is concerned about — that would be Amazon’s B2B line, Amazon Supply. “They will definitely bring it, and I’m absolutely fine with that because the market will then expand in a big way,” Agrawal said. “And I think I don’t need to worry about Amazon launching, say, in about 12 months in India. That’s because, being a market leader, I would have grown Tolexo 30 times by the time Amazon comes in. It’s the same logic of Flipkart versus Amazon, it will be very difficult for Amazon to displace a business/brand that has the first mover advantage.”