A new platform aimed at aiding entrepreneurs in creating solutions for the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) has been introduced by Antler, an early-stage venture capital (VC) company.
The VC firm has partnered with Infosys non-executive chairman, Nandan Nilekani’s Foundation for Interoperability in Digital Economy (formerly Beckn Foundation) and ONDC for this platform.
Nandan Nilekani, on Wednesday (9 August), pitched ONDC to an audience of start-ups, techies and entrepreneurs. He asked them to build innovations on top of the government-backed platform to democratise e-commerce.
"We are going to democratise e-commerce in India. It won't be limited to a few players," said Nilekani, also a member of ONDC's advisory council.
He added, "Everyone, every supplier including kirana stores, grocery retailers, electronics retailers, small vendors, and restaurants should participate in the digital marketplace on an open platform."
The Antler ONDC platform combines capital, content, and a community to support entrepreneurs in establishing and achieving success within the open protocol.
This is touted as the first and only venture ecosystem focused on ONDC, for founders in the country.
The new programme offers $300,000 pre-seed capital and a potential extra investment of up to $200,000 from Antler network partners, including unicorn founders, for prepared teams with ideas, reports MoneyControl.
The government-backed ecommerce network, ONDC, has gained promising traction, expanding to around 620 cities. It aims to strengthen its presence in Tier-2 and beyond regions.
Since its inception last year, ONDC has received over 1.1 million retail orders cumulatively.
At present only six percent of medium, small and micro enterprises are active sellers on digital platforms. With ONDC, there is potential for the base to grow to 30-40 per cent over the next decade, said Nitin Sharma, partner at Antler India.
Several experts propose that ONDC could empower small businesses to contend with prominent players like Walmart-owned Flipkart, Amazon, Reliance's JioMart, and Tata's BigBasket, in the rapidly expanding e-commerce arena.
This sector is projected to reach $350 billion by 2030, potentially curbing the dominance of these established entities.
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