New Delhi: Khatabook, a business app that helps MSMEs streamline business transactions online, on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with former India captain MS Dhoni.
The World Cup winning skipper will not only invest in Khatabook but also become its brand ambassador, a statement said. Dhoni's decision to invest in Khatabook comes at a time when the firm has crossed 2 crore registered merchants on its app.
Commenting on this association, Dhoni said, "There are many new-age companies in the country, only a few like Khatabook, are making a difference at the grassroots level. Having grown up in small-town India, I saw friends and family struggle with outdated modes of doing business and tracking finances."
"Khatabook has had an outsized impact on the lives of India's small merchants and retailers. I am very excited to join them at a crucial point in their journey, as they work towards achieving their goal of transforming the way India does business," he added.
The partnership is a natural fit between the company that has built immense trust and reliability among its fast-growing merchant base and a globally respected sportsperson with over a billion fans.
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The firm has set aggressive growth targets for expansion across smaller towns and villages. Khatabook is aiming to onboard another 2 crore merchants over the next 12 months. The firm plans to use the proceeds from the latest equity investment to expand its product portfolio and double down on its technology and capabilities.
Ravish Naresh, co-founder and CEO Khatabook said: "We are thrilled to welcome Mahi to the Khatabook family. He embodies the spirit of true sportsmanship and entrepreneurship - the ability to adapt, evolve and be a leader, focusing on a larger cause beyond his success. These are the qualities that have made him one of the most-loved captains of Indian cricket. At Khatabook, we aspire to build the same level of trust, agility and reliability among our merchants and business partners and be a true partner to them in their journey. To us, this partnership seemed like the most natural fit, and we look forward to setting new milestones together as we build financial solutions for a billion Indians."
Talking about the company's plans to amplify its market leadership through this association, Ved Prakash, VP Marketing, Khatabook said: "Khatabook's initial growth came organically and we currently have a market penetration of 25-30%. Now the idea is to drive trust and reliability at a large scale. This is why doing our brand campaign with Dhoni is a great fit. With this, we are poised at strengthening brand awareness, creating category and increasing penetration by 50-60 per cent. We will now focus on deepening our relationship with the merchants by creating more use cases and cementing relatability with the brand."
Merchants across 5000+ Indian cities use the Khatabook app.
From kirana stores to mobile recharge shops, garment dealers and jewellers, Khatabook serves over 500 types of businesses in India at present. It supports 11 languages and has recorded cash transactions worth over Rs 3.7 lakh crore in the last one year. The app has also organically acquired merchants in Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Having completely automated the traditional business ledger process in the country, the app is helping 2 crore Indian merchants each save over 700 productive working hours in a year.