If Musk goes to Mars, we’ll deliver diesel there too says this Ratan Tata-backed startup founder

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If Musk goes to Mars, we’ll deliver diesel there too says this Ratan Tata-backed startup founder
Repos

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  • The startup delivers diesel to MSMEs right at their doorstep for a minimum order of 100 litres – and can be ordered via an app.
  • It received a pre-series A funding of $7.5 million, and wants to raise ₹300 crore (around $37.5 million) in series A this year.
  • It recently launched Repos Pay, an energy-fintech platform which will facilitate fuel on credit solutions for bulk consumers.
When a 25 year old Aditi Bhosale Walunj and her husband Chetan Walunj took over their family business, a petrol pump in Pune – they were only doing one thing – calling small businesses which bought diesel on loan and were paid on a 15-day cycle at the best.

Yet, they kept the credit business going since it is important and kept on supplying fuel to businesses and one day in 2016 there was a power outage and they were still delivering diesel to an IT company. At the same time, Aditi, who had ordered a book that she booked on an e-commerce website and it was delivered too, at the same time and received a text message about it.

An epiphany struck and she wondered why diesel cannot be delivered to the end customer. A few months later, they pitched this idea to none other than Ratan Tata and after receiving his blessings, went to Delhi to receive the necessary licences for it – to create the first e-commerce like delivery system for fuel.
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“Indian runs on diesel,” says Aditi and a large chunk of the 7.71 million tonnes that’s consumed per day runs on credit business. The startup designed vehicles that would deliver diesel to micro, small and medium consumers, at a minimum order of 100 litres – and can be ordered via an app and will be delivered at a specified date.

An Amazon/Flipkart like model
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Currently, IoT-enabled mobile fuel pumps deliver in 220 cities and source their fuel either from petrol pumps or even fuel marketing companies like BPCL, Indian Oil and HPCL. Industrial sales have always been a very small part of the oil marketing companies business and of course they don’t use an app.

The vehicles are also offered to interested people on a franchise basis, and they use their strong background in last mile delivery to also earn commissions as they steer them towards customers.

The company which has been bootstrapped till last month, received a pre-series A fund of $7.5 million, and also wants to raise ₹300 crore (around $37.5 million) in series A this year.

As a company they sell around 60-70 kilo litres of diesel every month and also generated ₹63 crore in revenues this year. “We are not burning anything,” she says speaking about how they target industries like hospitality, construction and one of their successful projects was to cater to the mining sector in Bangalore.

“Even if Musk wants to go to Mars, we will deliver diesel to him there too,” says a confident Aditi. However, most of her consumers have a problem that the world’s richest man never has to face — dearth of funds.
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BNPL model for diesel sales

To remedy this, the company recently launched Repos Pay, an energy-fintech platform which will facilitate fuel on credit solutions for bulk consumers. It has already signed MoUs with Axis Bank, mCapital, and ICICI Bank as financial partners.

“Even when we ran a brick and mortar petrol pump, we had turned into recovery agents as most bulk customers bought on credit. And their business cycles do not allow them to pay upfront and the pumps had to bear the burden of interest rates. So went to provide a BNPL (buy now and pay later) model to MSMEs with the help of banks,” Aditi told Business Insider India.

The credit business is not yet another cog in its wheel – it hopes that this model will allow them to grow their revenues five times over – as they believe that there is so much hunger for credit in this business.

“While mobile energy distribution has an impressive growth story, access to viable investment opportunities in this sector for most investors is virtually non-existent. We, as an aggregator, aim to resolve this problem by facilitating to bring down the ticket size for investments," said Chetan Walunj, founder and CEO of Repos.
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