Startups and small businesses often find themselves in the dark as they look for an agency or vendor to manage digital marketing, public relations (PR), market research, branding, media planning, contact generation, and human resource needs. .
Unlike larger companies, which have deep pockets and dedicated equipment to perform these functions, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are mostly at the mercy of WhatsApp groups, endless Google searches, word of mouth recommendations. word of mouth and their network of peers to find the right service providers.
With the aim of democratizing Acquisition of B2B services, based on Gurugram, which is between YourStory Tech50 2021 List of the most promising startup startups, they entered the image to bridge this gap through technology and change the way high value services are bought and sold.
Incorporated in 2018, the startup has so far finished working 1500 SMEs and startups, and has More than 2,000 agencies registered on its platform, which goes beyond the typical technological support ‘combine and find’ service and offers post-agreement services, such as project monitoring and escrow, to provide founders and business owners with the peace of mind they so desperately need.
Contribute market technology to services
Founders of GroCurv Vipul Gupta i Venkatesh Rangachari During their corporate careers, they had both found themselves contemplating entrepreneurship. His stays at Airtel overlapped with the two colleagues in the Gurgaon office of the telecommunications giant. Vipul holds an MBA from the Institute of Management Development (MDI), Gurugram, while Venkatesh has two MBAs from IIM Bangalore and INSEAD.
In 2017, the duo launched their first startup called Hypersonic Advisory, a consulting firm for SMEs and startups, which paved the way for their second business idea.
“As consultants to these startups and SMEs, we realized that most of our time was spent finding the right partner or agency for their marketing, sales, public relations, branding, etc. functions. “The internal teams of small businesses are very small or almost non-existent, so they depend on external agencies for these functions,” says Vipul.
The founders contacted about 250 small and medium-sized businesses to understand their needs and requirements as they entered the market and carried out various projects. “The struggle was real. There was almost no single market to match the founders with the right agency partner. It took almost two months to find a seller amid a great deal of information asymmetry. It was basically a success and a test “.
A snapshot of the GroCurv control panel
The GroCurv platform was launched in September 2019. Once an SME or startup has been registered, they go through the proprietary chat interface of the platform called Dhruv, which understands the requirements.
Based on an interaction of only 10 minutes, a strong ‘project brief’ is created, which captures different data points about the SMB and what it requires from a provider. This summary is then incorporated into an algorithm, which matches the SMB with the top 5-6 agencies along with a matching score. The client can compare, interact, search for proposals and negotiate with the agencies on the platform and then close the deal.
Going beyond the discovery and the list, the platform acts as data storage center and provides a window for both parties to carry out post-agreement operation through group interactions along with tracking the entire process with weekly calls.
“Post-agreement monitoring and warranty installation differentiate our business model from other platforms. The mission is to make the whole process transparent, build trust and give SMEs and startups peace of mind. “It used to take almost two months, now it’s only 7-8 days.”
Implementation follows a strict protocol while incorporating agencies. To date, it has more than 2,000 vendors on the platform offering a large number of services as marketing, design, sales, public relations, branding, among others.
His target market and the focus is on SMEs with a turnover of between Rs 5 and Rs 250 crore and seed to Series B-funded startups.
“We also receive demand from large companies, but our platform is designed to help exclusively SMEs and startups. We want to become a key part of their growth journey.”
Moglix, WinUall, Medpho, Riverine, Extramarks, HEM Incense, So far, SSF Plastics, Ujala Cygnus Healthcare are some of its customers along with international names like SquireLocks, Event, Ymetis, Dole Asia, Bauli i Medi-Tech Insights.
Explaining the revenue model and its future, Vipul says: “We finally plan to build one SaaS offer (software as a service). around contracting services. We currently earn on the vendor’s side and charge a percentage fee for each agency transaction. ”
GroCurv uploaded its last round of seed financing of VC in the initial phase based in Singapore Unicorn investments i WINNERS (Value Investor Network). Compete globally, Blacklist, Agency Finder, Afaqs Marketplace and Fiverr, among others. It has a recurring annual revenue (ARR) of $ 0.7 million with an order reservation rate of $ 1.5 million.
GroCurv has been seeing “strong demand” from global startups and SMEs looking for profitable service providers in India, according to Vipul. This could provide a great opportunity for Indian agencies to outsource their services.
“The Southeast Asian market is facing a similar problem of information asymmetry. There are about 2.5 million searches on Google each month for marketing agencies alone. This means that the discovery is a problem and our goal is to solve it globally “.
The startup aims to become positive cash at the end of March 2022. Looking to the future, it plans to add more segments, including pure play advertising agencies, media planning, celebrity agencies and scaling the business in general to more SMEs and startups.
“India has about 40,000 sales and marketing agencies. By 2025, we want to have 10,000 of them curators on the platform and drive almost 30 percent of the business for them. In the next 18 months, the goal is to start to make nearly $ 1 million in gross reserves a month and grow between 9X and 10X. ”
GroCurv is a Home of YourStory Tech50 for 2021.