Karthik Sridharan of Kinnek

We often are so much set in are own ways that we resist any kind of change. Same is the case with various old process, traditions and rituals that we still follow, without questioning anything about its existence and working. Karthik Sridharan of Kinnek is not one of those. He's an excellent example of an entrepreneur who takes an ancient business problem and solves it simply using modern technology at his disposal.

In year 2012, Karthik along with Rui Ma founded Kinnek, a B2B platform that allows small businesses to request and receive customized quotes from suppliers for their purchases.. The startup which has been making waves since beginning, and recently made $20 million in Series B funding round led by Thrive Capital . It Series A funding, which closed about a year ago, was led by Matrix Partners and raised a total of $33 million.

The small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) end up spending about $2.2 trillion annually on supplies and equipment. Kinnek helps these businesses in procurement of goods and equipments. The platform receives roughly about $1 billion in quotes per year. Further, more than 20,000 businesses make use of the startup's services on the buy side and about 2,000 suppliers.

Kinnek is a perfect marketplace for business owners and purchasers. Typically they approach the marketplace with their needs, and then the vendors respond to them with a quote. The platform charges the sellers, in a hybrid based model, which is part subscription fee and part commission on sales. The service is absolutely free of cost for the buyers.

[caption id="attachment_102846" align="aligncenter" width="700"]kinnek_cofounders Karthik Sridharan (left) and his Kinnek co-founder Rui Ma[/caption]

As many as 20,000 businesses use Kinnek on the buy side (up from 10,000 a year ago), and about 2,000 suppliers. And according to a recent TechCrunch article, Kinnek is the only one of four similar platforms that hasn’t limited itself to one industry vertical.

According to Sridharan, SMBs are continuously looking for customized goods and equipments but many of them cannot afford to have dedicated procurement teams like a big business. This is where Kinnek comes to their rescue.

With $20 million in their kitty, the company already has plans ready to use the money for two areas: firstly, they plan to expand their offerings into new industries; and secondly, they are considering adding up more features like invoicing, shipping and receiving. The ultimate goal is to make Kinnek the social graph of businesses, akin to Facebook and LinkedIn.

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