ShipsKart, the leading B2B supply chain e-commerce solution for the Maritime and Offshore domain, today announced that it has raised a $2.7 million Series A round. The round was led by TMV and Hermes Offshore, with additional strategic investments from Tradeworks.vc, Motion Ventures and Eternia Investments. 80 percent of the funds will be utilized for its India operations providing a big chance to the mid-segment shipping companies and suppliers to empower and streamline their entire procurement life cycle with a one-stop solution. The company has innovative ideas to collaborate with FMCG giants / OEMS and establish dedicated aggregator centres across Indian ports to completely revolutionise the unstructured marketplace of Maritime.
ShipsKart is the premiere B2B online marketplace where vessels, vessel managers, ports, and shipyards can purchase marine products, consumables, equipment and service products required for the uninterrupted and efficient operations onboard ships. With ShipsKart’s wide network of 500+ partners across 40+ countries, ship owners reap the benefit of quality products at competitive prices at any remote port across the globe. To date, the company has processed 2,000+ successful orders across the world, delivering savings of up to 20% to its valued clients.
Typically, procurement processes are unstructured and coordinated manually by managing individual vendors via emails and phone calls to source quotes, conduct KYC, manage deliveries and after-sales queries.
With ShipsKart, purchase officers will have a single marketplace to manage the entire end-to-end process saving significant time, while gaining data-driven insights on the historical price information and identifying opportunities to improve efficiencies by mapping purchasing patterns and trends. The platform also has a budgeting tool for captains and vessel operators to simplify what would usually be managed via spreadsheet documents, which are prone to human error.
ShipsKart’s growth has also created fresh career opportunities for Category Experts and Mobilisation Managers in the maritime industry. The startup intends to empower mid-segment shipping companies and suppliers by acting as backbone digital partners on a nominal subscription. This will allow such companies to be more efficient and organised.
The startup was also the first in the industry to launch a mobile app – available on iOS and Android – for maritime procurement that’s not only accessible to ships but vendors, ship managers and owners too. The team expects that in a few years, it will become commonplace for orders to be created, approved and delivered, through its app.
Shipskart has fulfilment centres in Mumbai and Cochin and plans to have more such centres in Gujarat, Visakhapatnam, Chennai and Kolkata in the next year. This would enable the company to serve all ports in India with overall cost-effectiveness and faster delivery services in order to meet the ship’s schedule. With its annual upscaling trending graph, ShipsKart plans to increase its sales by 100% this year as well. It is noteworthy to see that due to ShipsKart a novel employment opportunity has been created in the Maritime sector like Category Experts and Mobilization Managers.
The company has taken up serious plans to cut down carbon footprints related to unorganized supply chain management. This would be a huge move towards sustainability and eco-friendly end to end solutions.
The company was founded by Captain Dhruv Sawhney, Master Mariner, along with Sunny Bagla (Lawyer) and Vivek Sahi (Seafarer). All three of them share prodigious synergy and bring their own experience and expertise to the table. From the personal experience of Captain Sawhney who during his seafaring career found the practice of quasi-manual procurement deeply inefficient, leading to wastage of time and money. He was grappled with the unstructured approach to procurement in the Maritime sector.
Determined to leverage the latest advancements in technology, Captain Sawhney extensively researched the procurement space to better understand how to streamline it and directly connect ship owners with suppliers in one common marketplace.
“In almost every industry today, eCommerce platforms are the norm yet maritime procurement still lags behind. Bringing existing analogue marketplaces online with ShipsKart will not only help to increase savings and benefit the bottom line for companies but will make global supply chains more resilient. With our marketplace, maritime companies can now focus their time on what’s really critical to drive value on the management front.” said Dhruv Sawhney, CEO and Co-founder of ShipsKart.
“Technology and digitization are the big answer to the strained supply chain, and ShipsKart’s innovative solution to the challenges which exist currently, are a major first step for helping the maritime industry across the board,” said Marina Hadjipateras, General Partner and Co-founder of TMV. She further shared “We are pleased to lead this round of financing and partner with the ShipsKart team in order to continue supporting their mission to revolutionize purchasing, efficiency and transparency for the maritime space.”
Since its inception, ShipsKart has played a huge role in reforming the purchasing in the shipping industry by leveraging progressive technology, with seamless and smooth operations leading to an average of 20% savings for B2B customers at sea. With this new round of funding, ShipsKart will continue to expand globally to other countries with strategic partnerships and a physical local presence.