While working in operations for global, large-scale retail businesses, I noticed a large gap between inventory expectation at our Vendor’s location vs. reality. This triggered the idea of Primaseller - enabling retailers to manage inventory across multiple online and offline channels of sale.
With Primaseller, we also wanted to give retailers access to a system that could keep track of inventory movement even as they slept. eCommerce was just burgeoning into the necessity it is today, and those using spreadsheets to manage inventory quickly began facing problems. Moreover, just when several retailers were getting used to the idea of being online, either on their own or through a marketplace like Amazon, omnichannel retail was gaining ground with customers very fast.
Primaseller, in that sense, was designed to be a robust system that could help retailers solve all of these problems on a single platform.
We got our first three customers from referrals of friends and SEO. The validation of the idea came from these customers as well as a few retailers who didn’t choose to use Primaseller. Feedback always helps us get better. We have raised 2 Angel and 1 Seed rounds of investment of undisclosed amounts.
We focus on small and mid-market retailers who sell on more than one channel of sale (Retail Store + Website, Website + Amazon, etc.). Today, we service clients across ten timezones around the world. We have a diverse mix of customers from single stores and online retail startups to chains with more than 25 stores.
One funny incident that I can remember from our early days is an anonymous customer requesting the ability to delete tax invoices for what seemed to be dubious non-legal reasons - we obviously declined the request.
How did you fund the idea initially?
I had some savings using which I initially bootstrapped the team followed by our first angel round a year later in 2014. My co-founder, Vivek - who I knew as my junior and friend from engineering days joined me in 2014 as the idea resonated with him and he was up for an adventure like I was.
I think it is important that the 3 non-CXO few folks are a) experienced and b) generalists. The 4-5 year experience range suits this profile the best so that they can add value from day one but still not feel the day to day grind to be below them.
Did you run any companies prior?
This was my first business - I have always wanted to start up but either my studies or other responsibilities stopped that earlier. For Primaseller, I was at a phase of my life where I had the required confidence and bootstrap capital to start up. My wife and parents were very encouraging at that time and have continued to be so today as well.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
Primaseller is about giving a platform to the SMEs to compete with a giant like Amazon. That’s what drives me and the entire team - standing for the small guy. The tools we build can help retailers optimize processes, which in turn can help them free up money, which they can then use to invest and scale their businesses, spend on marketing, and gain solid ground.
Our customers report at least a 50% increase, usually more, in revenues within a year of using Primaseller and that’s a huge deal for all of us!
My advice to anyone who wants to start in the tech space is to always get a job/ internship for 6 months to a year in the industry in which you are looking to start up - especially if it is B2B.
As of now, all our leads are generated by SEO and social media (Quora). In terms of applications that are essential to Primaseller, we use Intercom, Freshsales, and Google Analytics.
What are your favourite books and podcasts?
Favourite book: TheHard Thing About Hard Thingsby Ben Horowitz
Podcast: Scott galloway is a recent favorite
I also enjoy reading fantasy-fiction, though the time to do so seems to be getting increasingly shorter.
What are your next steps?
The biggest thing we are excited about is the formal release of Primaseller 2.0. It is the result of years of insights from our customers, leads and the industry - something that completely caters to a retailer looking to upgrade to the era of Retail 3.0.
We hope to see Primaseller as the no.1 choice globally as a retail operations platform.
Our current revenue is not public. As for selling the company, that completely depends on whether the right company walks in at the right price. By the right company, I mean someone who can take Primaseller to greater heights and can build on the vision we have created.