Tech

1K Kirana raises $25 million for its hyperlocal shopping and distribution platform – TechCrunch

1K Kirana, an Indian startup that operates an eponymous hyperlocal shopping app and retail distribution network, has raised $25 million in a new funding round to help brands and convenience stores reach more consumers.

The three-year-old startup’s Series B funding was led by Alpha Wave Global, Info Edge Ventures and Kae Capital. A number of angel investors, including Amrit Acharya, founder and CEO of Zetwerk, also participated in the first tranche of a larger round of funding, the startup said.

Convenience stores can be found in tens of thousands of towns and villages in India. They have survived – and thrived – despite the billions invested by the country’s retail giants. But they struggle with securing stocks in large quantities and at good prices.

1K Kirana tries to solve it with a multi-layered approach. The startup serves as a distribution network for these stores and also helps them with digital marketing to reach more consumers. 1K Kirana also operates an app for consumers to discover, order, and pay for their purchases.

“We control their entire supply chain. We deliver the goods, we do the marketing and we ensure that the customer frequency in the store increases. These shops act as franchise partners and make money on commissions instead of playing on margin,” explained Kumar Sangeetesh, co-founder of 1K Kirana, in an interview with TechCrunch.

Consumers can either have the order delivered to their home or pick it up at a nearby store. If you have ordered an item that is not available in store, 1K Kirana will ship it to the store.

The vast majority of items sold in convenience stores are in the FMCG category. The challenge of operating in the universe of this category is that store owners make single digit profits by moving these items. The industry agrees that this problem is worth tackling as these stores are moving the majority of their inventory, so reaching them – and vicariously their customers – is critical to everyone’s success.

What 1K Kirana is trying to do at a fundamental level is help these stores significantly increase the number of items they sell so they can scale. At the same time, 1K Kirana serves consumers by giving them access to a larger catalog of items, more choices across all categories, and discounts.

“In our case, I collect supply demand from stores, go to manufacturers, lower costs, and pass the cost advantage on to consumers,” said Sangeetesh, adding that 1K Kirana is not a Kirana tech startup but a consumer play .

“The impact that 1K has made in the lives of consumers and franchisees alike in a very short amount of time is extremely difficult to replicate. The 1K Mall app has already enabled thousands of non-urban Indians to shop online for the first time,” said Kitty Agarwal, partner at Info Edge Ventures, in a statement.

“We believe the 1K team is building an iconic company that is transforming the way non-urban India shops for everyday essentials by expanding its selection with higher quality and more affordable options. The founding team is exceptional in their execution and we are delighted to strengthen our partnership with them.”

1K Kirana, which currently has a network of about 1,000 stores, says it has served over a million customers in more than 25 districts in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It plans to use the fresh funds to hire more tech talent to expand 1K Kirana’s reach to over 100 districts, he said.

The startup will also explore various monetization opportunities, including with data, he said.

“Sangeetesh, Abhishek and Sachin have built a company that combines strong growth with attractive profitability. We are excited to partner with them as they bring a modern retail experience to underserved consumers in India’s $600+ billion grocery market,” said Navroz D. Udwadia, Founder and Partner of Alpha Wave Global, in a statement.

1K Kirana raises $25 million for its hyperlocal shopping and distribution platform – TechCrunch Source link 1K Kirana raises $25 million for its hyperlocal shopping and distribution platform – TechCrunch

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