Bangalore based YOUKRAFT, has secured a commitment of $10 million in seed funding from the Goel Family Office including Manav Goel (Founder and CEO of YOUKRAFT). The recently launched app will be an online marketplace exclusively catering to the construction and interiors industry.
YOUKRAFT is founded by Manav Goel to solve the on-ground challenges contractors face and to digitize the interiors market with technology to facilitate ease of transaction. He is currently transitioning from his role as the Managing Director of WOODKRAFT where he has led the company’s growth to become India’s leading corporate interiors fit-out company. WOODKRAFT has successfully delivered over 600 projects spanning more than 75 million sq ft. in 28 cities in India, has offices in 9 cities, and a base of 7000+ skilled workforce. The company’s global corporate clientele includes many of the Fortune 500 companies. WOODKRAFT is on track to deliver over Rs 1,000+ crores in sales in the current financial year. This represents a significant growth (65%+) over last year.
“We are delighted to have secured the funds we need to support YOUKRAFT during this crucial early stage of our growth,” said Manav Goel, founder and CEO of YOUKRAFT. “We seek to bridge the gaps in India’s interior and construction industry by providing a unified technology platform where homeowners, interior designers and contractors can easily obtain the best products at the best prices delivered to their doorstep.”
The idea behind YOUKRAFT was conceived in 2021 to address the key logistical and transparency issues plaguing the interiors and construction industry. It was designed as a single unified platform that would connect homeowners, contractors, designers, architects, technicians, and other stakeholders in the industry. The technology was designed and developed in-house in just four months and relies on an advanced AI/ML algorithm that matches customers to the most appropriate product recommendations. Within the same four months, the platform also succeeded in listing over 20k+ SKUs offered by 100+ leading brands across key verticals.
YOUKRAFT has been co-founded by a strong and diverse leadership team with domain expertise in E-Commerce, Technology, Marketing, Finance and Supply Chain. The core team also includes Torun Mathias (Credit Suisse), Rajib Saha (Flipkart), Anita Devraj Mookerjee (AJIO), Alok Saraf (Grant Thornton), Mukund Gandlur (Illude) and Sumit Gupta (Metro Cash and Carry). Their team strength has expanded from four to 90 people in just four months, and is growing.
Technology is at the heart of Youkraft, and they have developed in-house solutions to some of the hardest problems in ecommerce. “Our ML engine has been designed to use large amounts of publicly available price data across millions of products to create an insightful pricing engine that offers tailored recommendations based on user buying patterns, while suggesting ways to save on future purchases. We do this by creating customized discount offers, group buying, bulk discounting on their most bought products and showing them other products of similar quality but at a lower cost.” said Manav.
The platform eliminates hassles of sourcing, procurement and delivery, thus enabling the contractors to focus on their core expertise and grow their business. The platform also employs distance, shipping cost and logistics reliability as key metrics to identify the most affordable and efficient shipping method.
Manav adds that the construction and interiors market is currently ripe for an ecommerce solution. “Digital payments have become the norm, and there are several digital-first logistics partners enabling easy shipping and fulfillment across India. Moreover, with the increasing urbanization of Tier-II and Tier-III cities, the demand for quality homes and commercial spaces is on the rise. This is a green-field opportunity for YOUKRAFT to unify the market and take the hassle out of the homeowning experience,” he says.
The YOUKRAFT app will be released in Bangalore first, and Manav is optimistic that their go-to-market speed will help them become a pan-India brand by end 2022/ early 2023. “We also plan to support our online platform with flagship omnichannel stores in the near future,” says Manav.