Peel-Works, a Mumbai-based startup providing software as a service (SaaS) services, has raised funds from Unilever ventures (investor arm of Unilever, UK), the parent of FMCG giant Hindustan Unilever. For Unilever, this is the first time investment in a startup in India. Peel-Works already has 2 investors, IDG Ventures and Inventus Capital Partners and these two also have participated in this current round of financing. The amount invested and the other details have, however, not been disclosed.
Incidentally, IDG Ventures received funding from Unilever Ventures earlier and the amount invested was $10 million.
Peel-Works is engaged in providing software solutions to consumer packaged goods companies, which helps them manage their supply chain better. The software developed and installed by them enables these companies to keep a track of the movement of their products, through the different stages of the supply chain till it reaches the consumer.
It can create databases and printout statements that give the marketing teams the insight into the exact behavior of a product in the market. A 5000-strong retailers network is the backbone on which Peel-Worksâ€™ program works and it is the feedback furnished by these retailers online that goes into the creation of reports.
They are currently serving around 15 clients, including Hindustan Unilever (HUL), which is where Sachin Chhabra, the founder of Peel-Works used to be employed before this. Having been founded in 2010, the company had raised $2 million earlier from IDG Ventures and Inventus.
The freshly raised funds will be utilized by Peel-Works in expanding its network of retailers and also on technological upgradation. There are plans to take the business outside of India as well.
Besides the consumer goods companies gaining directly, the insights gained through their program are also of use to e-commerce, FinTech or Cash&Carry players as well. Many of these may also be part of the overall ecosystem that is essential for the consumer products majors. To be precise, this is one of the interests Unilever Ventures has in encouraging startups that have any strategic relevance in their parent companyâ€™s operations.