What had started as a traditional business venture soon provided Ashwani Rathore and Harshal Ingle with the seed for starting their own startup. Called SpiderG, Rathore and Ingle’s baby is a platform to connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to financial institutions for funding based on the transaction data generated by SMEs on the SpiderG platform. SpiderG at present serves as many as 1,000 businesses across India and the co-founders plan to raise the number to 50,000 in a year’s time.
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Like most new age entrepreneurs, Rathore had cut his teeth in the corporate world before taking the big plunge. An engineer from the National Institute of Technology in Ahmedabad, Rathore also has a management degree from Manila. “Before starting SpiderG, I was working as a business consultant for Goldman Sachs and the Indian School of Business Hyderabad the 10,000 women entrepreneur programme. In 2007, I started ‘Mom’s Kitchen’, a food aggregator and delivery venture. I successfully ran it for three years before selling it off. After that, I worked with IndiaCo Ventures, a venture capital/PE firm as technology evangelist,” he said.
The idea of SpiderG had come to the co-founders in their parent company Gladiris Technology in 2013. In the business of selling open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to SMEs, they became aware of the lacunae in the system. “After researching deeply for six months, SpiderG was formed in early 2015 to solve the problems faced by SMEs on working capital mismanagement and crunch, which arise due to mismanaged accounts (not keeping proper financial records) and difficult access to easy and fast finance,” he said. “The company is targeting revenues of Rs 1.5 crore this year. Next year, our target is Rs 20 crore because we will have a whole bunch of revenue streams,” he added.
SpiderG, Rathore said, creates a network for companies. “The way Facebook has done for individuals, we intend to do the same for businesses — establish online entities of companies which will open a range of future possibilities,” he said. The concept attracted investors in the business with angel investor Sandeep Ghat becoming the first investor of the company.
The present initiatives of the government, Rathore said, are a step in the right direction. “The ecosystem in general has become a lot more conducive to the ‘startup culture’ and this will definitely continue into 2017. Media played a vital role by covering startups which caught the attention of people outside the startup system,” he said.