This B2B startup provides a digital platform to buy heavy equipment and parts

For most heavy equipment owners, it is difficult to find replacement parts for their machines from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) after the initial warranty expires. These owners often have to rely on aftermarket suppliers to purchase and replace these parts.

However, different improved versions of these machines appear every year, making it even more difficult to find the right part among different models, brands and versions.

To solve this problem, Ajay Anand, along with Kumar Palangappa, Umesh Sangurmath, Ravi Anand Rao, Avinash Sangurmath and Sumit Bhosale founded Inasmuch asYantra LiveInasmuch as in 2018. Early investors Vikram Joshi and Ajay Anand also joined as co-founders in 2021.

The Bengaluru-based startup’s digital B2B platform acts as a one-stop-shop for heavy equipment and their parts, spares, consumables and services for buyers.

“We see an opportunity to bring the technology, to simplify all this complexity and deliver a solution on a technology platform,” says Ajay.

What does it offer?

YantraLive started by providing parts and services on its platform.

Machinery, due to the nature of the industry, has to go through a lot of wear and tear. Owners should change filters or loops and also be prepared for unforeseen breakdowns, where the motor or electrical components might not work properly.

Ultimately, the machines end up needing repair and maintenance almost every month.

The platform mainly deals with equipment such as bulldozers, JCB, excavators, loaders, electronic pumpsetc., which are used in construction, mining and agriculture.

Along with these, the startup also provides services to infrastructure companies, fleet owners, and maintenance shops, among others.

The market and income

YantraLive earns its revenue by making a marginal profit by selling parts on its platform and leveraging its knowledge network of suppliers, allowing it to source and deliver them. They are direct resellers, retailers, traders and manufacturers.

“You can’t win this industry by building up a lot of inventory because you don’t know which machine will break down where and which model to keep,” says Vikram.

The startup uses “a technology-driven approach to identify who owns inventory and the ability to move it quickly,” he adds.

To deliver it to the customer, the startup has franchise partners in small towns, from where customers can source the hardware rather than making long journeys. He works to make it more efficient.

Over time, the startup began to offer other services such as repair of hydraulics, motors and electrical parts, on-site assembly and general inspection, including repairs in the event of breakdowns, troubleshooting and preventive maintenance of this equipment.

YantraLive’s target customers are large infrastructure companies working on government contracts, individual owners leasing heavy equipment, or global companies purchasing parts or machinery from India.

At present, it serves 40 clients, including infra companies like Ashoka Buildcon, Urmilla Enterprises, Balajee Infratech, and 30-40 are its export accounts. It claims to have served over 1,000 individual customers and shipped over 10,000 SKUs in total.

The construction equipment industry earned $6.5 billion in revenue in 2020-21, according to a business report from the Indian Construction Equipment Manufacturers’ Association. Considering the used equipment, parts, service and rental market, Yantra’s market size is even larger.

In January 2022, the startup raised $1 million in a funding round from GrowthStory and other angel investors, including Bigbasket co-founder Vipul Parekh.

Product differentiation

One of the places where YantraLive tries to differentiate itself from other marketplaces such as Equiphunt and iQuippo is to help its customers identify parts that could be used as replacements.

“Over the years, we have created a knowledge network in the backend, where a network of relationships of all parts and related spares has been built,” says Ajay. “There is metadata in the backend, which makes it easier to find parts,” he adds.

Just suggesting an OEM replacement doesn’t solve the problem, says Ajay. “Either they are expensive or their dealership in India is not so extensive that they can supply every person who asks for a spare part.”

Thus, YantraLive goes above and beyond by recommending the right aftermarket adjustments. On the business side, this involves digitally cataloging equipment and finding the right parts, even aftermarket ones, that fit and work well.

The startup uses artificial intelligence and language processing to understand and help users plan the correct replacement of worn parts.

“Our ability to guide people as to what to buy makes us different,” says Vikram.

With more transactions, the system is able to learn better and serve about 90% through this learning algorithm, he adds.

After that ?

YantraLive strives to provide more technological solutions to industry problems. “This will result in a solution for both the customer and the business for Yantra and it’s a win-win for both,” says Ajay. This will open up new revenue streams, he says.

In line with its “one-stop-shop” strategy, YantraLive enables its customers to digitize their inventory, making it easier to track their hundreds of machines across different job sites.

It also allows them to access data in a clean and systematic way, using which they can recommend preventive actions for machines.

Most YantraLive customers aren’t tech-savvy, so the key is to create a simple platform accessible by phone.

“We favored conversation,” says Vikram, explaining how the community works through a network of people. Through WhatsApp and Facebook bots, customers can communicate and get feedback on what to do with parts that have gone bad.