Social enterprises increasingly getting more capital, from impact and venture capital funds
“I didn’t have to be 600 km from Bhubaneswar to source my products — I could have got it from Chikpet (a wholesale market in Bengaluru),” laughs Siva Devireddy, founder of GoCoop, on the phone from Odisha. GoCoop is a Bengaluru-headquartered marketplace selling products directly from weavers and weaver cooperatives, in the process eliminating the notorious middleman.
It was the misery of the weavers in his parents’ village in Andhra Pradesh, who were “effectively, a kind of bonded labour” that pushed Devireddy to quit his job at Accenture, where he was a director, and set up the online marketplace that would connect rural artisans to buyers in India and abroad directly, ending their exploitation.
GoCoop now has 250 cooperatives on its ecommerce platform and B2B customers include the likes of Levi’s and Reliance Retail.