As more and more online stores open in India, retailers realize that to sell online is a necessity if they want to tap the millions of smart device users throughout the country. Gurugram-based startup Square1 provides support to all those small and medium businesses (SMBs), who want to go online by making e-commerce accessible to all entrepreneurs and SMBs. After months of preparation, they launched their e-commerce platform this week.
Calling themselves different from existing platforms like Shopify and Zepo, whose focus is on entrepreneurs, Square1 focuses primarily on SMBs. The platform also claims to be the first of its kind that offers GST support and capabilities.
Co-founded by Naved Khan, Ashish Bhatia, and Gaurav Nagar, Square1 has recently received seed funding from India Accelerator. With the ambition to revolutionize the Indian e-commerce market, the company claims to be the only online retail platform geared towards Indian audiences.
The company claims to have identified the shortcomings of existing western e-commerce platforms and has set out to address them. Square1 plans to simplify the process of setting up and running a professional internet retail business, cutting down the cost and time involved by over 90%.
“The last five years have seen a rapid shift in how India buys, with more than 25% of the country now shopping online. Yet, we find that SMBs are afraid to tap this new market, feeling under confident in their abilities to run an online business. Square1 wants to change this, and make e-commerce accessible to companies of all shapes and sizes in the nation. We bring everything a business needs, big or small, to succeed in one application,” notes co-founder and CEO, Naved Khan.
Khan took a break from college before pursuing entrepreneurship, who is also the founder of Big Drop Technologies, which was acquired by Appworks in 2016.
With the online retail industry growing at an unprecedented rate, around 6 million new entrants appear every month. According to Square1, most e-commerce platforms only offer basic theme builders, which best serve entrepreneurial businesses and one-man shops. However, Square1 wants to target India’s untapped market of professional retail businesses, giving them a solution that is designed to handle large-scale operations, and provide a high-end, advanced product.
Square1 provides custom theme development, which allows customers to have a store designed from scratch to suit their brand, instead of having to choose from a list of predesigned templates. The platform also allows customers to build and use their own plugins, or integrate with other third party systems.
Square1 is a product of Appworks, an organization run by six entrepreneurs, Ashish Bhatia, Deepak Sharma, Rakesh Saoji, Gaurav Nagar, Tarun Swaroop, and Naved Khan. Appworks Technologies is the leadership behind India Accelerator, Big Drop Technologies, and Organiq consulting. Square1 was among six startups chosen by Gurugram-based accelerator India Accelerator. Apart from Square1, the five other startups chosen are Kuants, EValk, Voko, Wish-a-Mitr, and CabBazar. Each startup received a seed amount of USD 20,000 to 25,000, as part of the program.