Kanoria firm in cash chase
iQuippo, the online marketplace for construction equipment, is eyeing its first round of funding as it looks to expand operations in the financing and sale of equipment.
“We are looking at capital infusion. We are evaluating how to get investors on the platform. We will be looking at $10-$25 million as series A funding. We are looking at strategic partners or venture capital option. The idea is to see what kind of value they can add on the platform,” said Anant Raj Kanoria, CEO of iQuippo, a Kanoria Foundation initiative.
“There has been some preliminary discussion. The target for funding is the next financial year. The funds will be used mainly for marketing and technology development,” he said.
The platform that has about 75,000 registered users mainly comprising contractors, engineers and first-time buyers has financed equipment of around Rs 2,800 crore till January.
Kanoria said the company has set a target to increase financing to Rs 10,000 crore by March next year, driven by co-lending tieups with the United Bank of India, Syndicate Bank and ICICI Bank.
“Co-lending has been a big game changer. We have signed up with a few banks and we are speaking to other banks. For banks, it is an opportunity to lend to a new set of customers, while NBFCs can reduce costs and focus areas of business such as collection,” said Kanoria. However, the integration of varying technologies at the back-end is still a challenge, he said.
iQuippo is also planning to expand its offering in a bid to increase its user base.
“We are not just limiting ourselves to construction and mining equipment. We are also doing commercial vehicles. The other thing that we are looking to start at the end of this year or next year is rental platform where people who have equipment that are not utilised can be put on the platform and we can connect buyers and sellers,” he said.
According to Kanoria, iQuippo’s business prospect is high, given the rise in mechanisation and government spend on expenditure. “Mechanisation has improved and even in rural villages people look at backhoe loaders and excavators to do the job than shovels and spades. So, equipment demand will grow,” he said.