Small businesses in the United States now have a new opportunity to source new manufacturers for home and leisure goods.Bzaar, a cross-border marketplace for businesses, connects merchants with more than 50 export-ready manufacturers in India.
The U.S.-based company announced Monday that it raised $4 million in seed funding, led by Canaan Partners, and including angel investors Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, PhonePe founders Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, Addition founder Lee Fixel and Helion Ventures co-founder Ashish Gupta.
Nishant Verman and Prasanth Nair co-founded Bzaar in 2020 and consider their company to be like a “fair without borders,” Verman put it. Prior to founding Bzaar, Verman was at Bangalore-based Flipkart until it was acquired by Walmart in 2018. He then was at Canaan Partners in the U.S.
“We think the next 10 years of global trade will be different from the last 100 years,” he added. “That’s why we think this business needs to exist.”
Traditionally, small U.S. buyers did not have feet on the ground in manufacturing hubs, like China, to manage shipments of goods in the same way that large retailers did. Then Alibaba came along in the late 1990s and began acting as a gatekeeper for cross-border purchases, Verman said. U.S. goods imports from China totaled $451.7 billion in 2019, while U.S. goods imports from India in 2019 were $87.4 billion.
Small buyers can buy over 10,000 wholesale goods from various countries including India and Southeast Asia on Bzaar's marketplace.
Product delivery is guaranteed within two weeks, and the company handles all packing logistics and buyer protection.
Verman and Nair launched the marketplace in April, and within six months, thousands of users from three continents had purchased from it.
Meanwhile, products on Bzaar are up to 50% cheaper than on domestic US platforms, and the number of SKUs available is doubling every month, according to Verman.
The new money will allow the company to spend in marketing to get its products in front of buyers, as well as in technology to improve its cataloguing feature so that goods can pass through customs smoothly.
Verman also plans to introduce a credit function that will allow buyers to pay in instalments or up to 90 days later, in order to give new benefits for its small company customers.
He went on to say, "We believe this is a once-in-a-lifetime revolution in how global trade operates."
"You'll need the correct team in place to execute this since transporting things from a small Vietnamese town to Nashville is a hard task."