StoreKing, a platform which provides assisted ecommerce services by setting up its own ecommerce kiosks at local stores, has raised $16 million in its latest Series A funding round from Malaysia based Axiata Digital, a unit of Axiata Group Berhad. This funding round marks Axiata Group’s first investment in India.
The newly raised funding will be utilized by the company to expand its team, enter tier III markets and tie up with more than 100,000 retailers by the end of 2017 and up to 250,000 by 2019.
StoreKing, founded by Sridhar Gundaiah in 2012, partners with local retailers by setting up kiosks, which displays StoreKing’s inventory to consumers visiting the stores.
Storeking leverages the use of modern low cost and low complexiety technology, kiosks equipped with low cost TV monitors and Android Tablets, to provide a simple self service shopping experience to small-town shoppers. It claims to have about 16,000 kiosks across 1,200 towns in south India and deliver more than 150,000 orders a month.
Commenting on this new development, Sridhar Gundaiah, chief executive at StoreKing, said,
From the beginning our goal was to help thousands of small businesses in rural India achieve a brighter future by enabling them to use technology. We hope to benefit from Axiata’s experience in extensive geography-based services and we couldn’t thank them enough for investing in the idea of StoreKing.
Khairil Abdullah, CEO, Axiata Digita, said,
StoreKing has created a platform that solves the fundamental constraints in ours markets with last mile logistics and payments, while building trust amongst mass market consumers.
The company operates on an assisted e-commerce model, the retail shop owner helps customers use the Mobile kiosk, select products and make cash payment to the retailer. In return a receipt is given and StoreKing ships the products to the retail store within 24-48 hours. Users can then collect their order from these retail stores.
The kiosk contains an application that is loaded with over 80,000 products that enables small-town retailers to serve walk-in customers without having to invest in working capital stock. It only costs the retailer a little less than Rs 10,000, to install the device at his store, and he also receives 6-10 percent commission on sales made.
It claims to be managing over 16,000 franchises and over 650 master franchisees spread across 8 states of Southern and Western India. The service has grown from 400 StoreKing retailers during the first year of operation to over 16,000 mobile kiosks in South India.
With major presence in South India, the company is now looking to expand its service across the country, filling a gap in the market for online commerce which large players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon do not address.