This start-up is making accounting easier, helping small traders go digital

Topics start up | Accounting | Traders

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Having come from a small business family, Sumit Agarwal knew how strenuous it was for his father to tally accounts manually. The process is seamless now, thanks to Vyapar, an accounting app for small businesses that Agarwal launched, along with co-founder Shubham, in 2015.

The app has evolved into a full-fledged fin-tech start-up, which deals with business invoicing, inventory, goods and services tax (GST) bills, and accounting needs of small businesses. It has recently raised Rs 36 crore ($5 million) in the Series A round of funding led by IndiaMART. Existing investors Axilor Ventures and India Quotient also participated in the round.

After graduating from BSIT Bengaluru, Agarwal worked with Intuit’s QuickBooks product for eight years, but he wanted to serve the Indian market in offline solutions. He next joined a start-up. One day, his family members asked him a favour — to build a solution to help them manage financials on mobile.

“They wanted two things: Managing receivable payable and billing. The purpose was not to build a billion-dollar company but to solve the problem,” said Agarwal. He launched the product in December 2015. In April 2016, when he quit the start-up to focus on Vyapar, it already had 150 downloads a day. The B2B start-up then launched a desktop version and increased its team strength.

“We plan to target the manufacturing sector. We will soon become the largest business accounting solution,” Sumit Agarwal Co-founder, Vyapar

“I was running the start-up from my savings until March 2017 when the product was made a paid service,” said Agarwal. The implementation of GST in July 2017 gave the platform a major boost as more people started downloading the app. Now, the start-up has one million active users with a rating of 4.6 on the Google Play Store. 

The mobile version is free for simple accountings, but premium subscribers pay according to tariff plans. The desktop version tariff ranges between Rs 2,499 and Rs 10,999, with one-month free access. Vyapar reportedly recorded revenue of Rs 1.4 crore in the last financial year.

Small businesses in India still create bills on paper and make entries and calculations manually, which is not only time consuming but also risky. “Solutions should be extremely simple. Anyone having no accounting knowledge should be able to use Vyapar,” said Agarwal, adding the government’s online push would bring more of the economy into the formal sector.

IndiaMART found it an opportune time to invest in Vyapar. “This investment is aligned with our long-term vision to make doing business easy for millions of businesses by providing them tech-enabled easy and cost-effective solutions,” said IndiaMART Managing Director Dinesh Agarwal.

The Vyapar founder said the IndiaMART’s expertise in the space would help the start-up increase user base. “Plus, we plan to target the manufacturing sector. We will soon become the largest business accounting solution,” he added.

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