Zetwerk’s revenue past Rs 835 Cr in FY21, losses climb 42%
May 11, 2022
The last two fiscal years (FY21 and 22) had turned out to be the ‘best ever’ period for B2B infrastructure, supply chain and lending platforms. During these two fiscal years, three companies in the space Infra.market, OfBusiness and Zetwerk had raised back to back funding rounds and emerged with unicorn status. The trio also witnessed a multi-fold surge in their scale as the unorganized B2B procurement sector took a blow during the pandemic. Having cash in hand helped, as the hyper-growth in the sector as evident from the 3.5X and 2X growth registered by Infra.Market and OfBusiness respectively during FY21. Along similar lines, Zetwerk also recorded a 2.6X jump in its revenue which grew to Rs 835.5 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2021 as compared to Rs 321.7 crore in FY20, according to Zetwerk’s annual financial statements filed with RoC. Riding this growth wave, the company had raised around $120 million in August last year, becoming a unicorn in its fourth year of operations. Importantly, Zetwerk’s revenues had shot up 20X during FY20-FY21 highlighting the strong demand. The Bengaluru-based company offers a bouquet of B2B services and products including inputs and machinery for manufacturing plants boasting 8,000 active suppliers and 1,800 customers including manufacturing and contracting giants like Bhel, Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro in its manufacturing network. Zetwerk also offers services such as end to end project management across the supply chain, inventory management and quality certification operations. Zetwerk primarily generates income catering to these large manufacturing setups with infrastructural inputs and fabricated components. The supply of fabricated inputs to the manufacturing industry is the largest revenue vertical for the company, accounting for 76.7% of its operating revenues. Such collections grew by 99.3% to Rs 641.1 crore in FY21 from Rs 321.7 crore during FY20. During FY21, Zetwerk also ventured into procurement for the healthcare and apparel industry which helped boost its earnings significantly. Collections from healthcare clients amounted to Rs 145.6 crore while supplying components and machinery to the apparel industry brought in Rs 48.8 crore in FY21. The cost of raw inputs and materials is evidently the largest cost centre for the company, accounting for 83.5% of its annual expenditure. These expenses surged in line with the increased demand and grew by 166.6% to Rs 759.6 crore during FY21 as compared to nearly Rs 285 crore in FY20. Payment of employee benefits is the second-largest expenditure for the B2B procurement company, accounting for 6.4% of its annual costs. Zetwerk increased its team size to cater to the growing volume of customers/industries the company handles and these payments grew by 109.4% to Rs 58.5 crore during FY21 from Rs 27.92 crore paid in FY20. Importantly, around 26% i.e Rs 15.1 crore of employee payments were spent on stock options in FY21. The Sequoia-backed company outsources its contracting and fabrication operations and the company paid Rs 39.5 crore for the same in FY21 as compared to Rs 21.2 crore spent during FY20. As a capital goods procurement company, Zetwerk has a very manageable debt to equity ratio of 1.39. Its finance costs have surged by 150.5% YoY to Rs 28.13 crore during FY21 along with the capital reinvested in operations. The B2B unicorn paid out Rs 11.9 crore for legal and professional services, pushing its annual expenditure to Rs 909.3 crore during FY21, growing by 152.6% as compared to total costs of Rs 360 crore in FY20. But the cashburn is yet to stop with Zetwerk’s annual losses growing by 42.1% to Rs 41.2 crore during FY21 from Rs 29 crore lost in FY20. On a unit level, Zetwerk spent Rs 1.09 to earn a single unit of revenue during the fiscal ended March 2021. The company also benefited from economies of scale, and its EBITDA margin improved from -5.23% in FY20 to -1.17% during FY21. It says something about the opportunity in the sector that even these improved numbers will be considered business as usual for now. The advent of the new unicorns in the sector, with the advantage of cash backing to pull off or enable large supply deals has been a boon to relatively large buyers so far, allowing both to benefit. That is a direct consequence of a sector plagued by payment delays and related issues that can be life threatening for firms at times. The big challenge however is to ensure a larger part of the procurement pie goes the ‘organised’ way so that larger volume buyers can also benefit from the heft of a well-capitalised arranger. That is probably when the profits will also scale up.