19th October 2023
ICMG Partners Co., Ltd.
ICMG Co-creation Fund I Investment LP
We are pleased to announce that ICMG Co-Creation Fund I Investment LP, managed by ICMG Partners Co., Ltd. (HQ: Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Director: Gen Funahashi) has invested into 3FATE TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED, also known as “Showroom B2B”, (HD-079, 19TH FLOOR, WEWORK BERGER DELHI ONE, C-001/A2, SEC 16B, NOIDA 201301), together with co-investors like, Jungle Ventures and Accion Venture Lab and including follow-on investors like, Gemba Capital, in the Pre-Series A fundraising round. The company is also backed by other prominent Indian VCs like PointOne Capital and Good Capital.
Showroom B2B is an online B2B marketplace for apparels in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India (east of New Delhi), that connects various stakeholders – retailers, apparel manufacturers & brands, through building trust in quality of products and services. Despite being an online platform, the company has established a point of contact with retailers through an in-person store called “Experience Stores”, which allows retailers to visit the stores and check on samples before making bulk/big purchases. This unique blend of solution helps to keep the return rate down to about 2% (a contrast to Japan’s average of 25-30%), enabling stronger margins for all stakeholders.
<Left> Co-Founder & CEO of ShowroomB2B (Abhishek Dua)
<Right> Director of ICMG Partners (Gen Funahashi)
Photos taken at ShowroomB2B India Office and ICMG Tokyo Office respectively
The textile and garment industry in India accounts for 13% of India’s total production and directly employs 100 million people, including those in related industries, making it the second largest job creator in the country. On the other hand, in this huge market, 70% of the players are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the supply chain connecting manufacturers and retailers, especially in the Tier 2 and 3 regions, is unorganized. The supply chain from manufacturer to retailer involves multiple intermediaries, which leads to the lack of price control and end-user feedback required to maximize production and profitability.
In light of this situation, Showroom B2B achieves high usability by consolidating all processes from product ordering, invoice financing, online purchasing to product delivery, while preserving offline touchpoints with customers through the Experience Store. By establishing a system that minimizes the return rate, there is no need to anticipate the return costs that have traditionally been faced by manufacturers working with other B2B marketplaces, and a system has been established to provide products to end users at low prices while maintaining strong profit margins. Currently, this model is being successfully implemented in Uttar Pradesh, and in the short to medium term, the company plans to expand into other Tier 2 and 3 areas outside Uttar Pradesh as well.
The significance in this investment comes from the various sustainability targets for the local Indian people and its industries. Firstly, the platform reduces waste in garment production through the elimination of an unorganized supply chain in these Tier 2 and 3 areas (SDG No.11). Secondly, by this phygital model, the company allows trust to be built between the industry which in turns allow organic growth of the sector/industry without disturbing the traditional ecosystem (SDG No. 9). Lastly, with less wastage in the manufacturing process in form of dead inventory, manufactures are now able to provide more cost savings towards end-users which will allow for stronger demand (SDG No.8).
ICMG Group aims to contribute to the development of local industries by supporting the growth of Showroom B2B. By leveraging on its extensive network of large Japanese companies, ICMG will explore the potential of bringing Japanese apparel-related products to be distributed and expanded into India. While we support the market entry of these Japanese companies, consequently we will contribute to the expansion of Showroom B2B’s GMV.
ShowroomB2B was co-founded by Abhishek Dua (CEO) and Shubham Gupta (CFO & CSO) in August 2020 in Uttar Pradesh, India. Both are graduates of the Indian Institute of Management and have extensive experience in the B2B space, having started other B2B-related businesses prior to the launch of this startup. The company currently has 40 employees and is expected to grow in the Indian market.
【About ICMG Group】
ICMG Group has been leading co-creative innovation not only in Japan but also in Southeast Asia and US together with various stakeholders such as leading Japanese big corporations, startups, and government agencies. ICMG Group has also carried out renewable energy investment projects in Southeast Asia with Tokyo Electric Power Company and Chubu Electric Power Co, formed a strategic partnership in Singapore with UNDP to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and launched the sustainable city initiative project in Japan with Aichi Prefectural Government. ICMG Co-Creation Fund aims to create a sustainable society by providing growth capital and strong partner network of leading Japanese corporations to startups that solve social issues.
【About ICMG Co-Creation Fund】
ICMG Co-Creation Fund was launched in May 2021 and is being managed by ICMG Partners as the General Partner. The Limited Partners are Japan Airport Terminal, which operates Haneda Airport Terminal Building and its group company Haneda Future Research Institute(LP investment from Japan Airport Terminal), and Kiraboshi Bank, which aims to become “a comprehensive service provider with strong financial capabilities”. The fund aims to build an ecosystem that leads a sustainable future by encouraging co-creation between startups that solve social issues beyond industries and Japanese large companies. In addition to providing startups with speedy growth capital, we also aim to provide growth support by offering collaboration opportunities with ICMG Group’s network of Japanese large companies.