Bengaluru-based RubanBridge (1Bridge) has raised $2.5 million in its latest funding round led by Netherlands-based impact investor C4D Partners.
The funding round also included participation from KAAJ Ventures (venture fund of Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur and prolific angel investor BV Jagadeesh), angel investors like Prashanth Prakash, Founding Partner of Accel Partners; Puneet Jetli, technopreneur and co-founder of Happiest Minds and Aradhana D Chatterjee, a seasoned PE/VC executive and existing angel investor Prashanth Boccasam, a US-based serial tech-entrepreneur & investor.
The funding will enable 1Bridge to expand its reach as a supply chain and distribution network across another 10,000 villages by adding 10,000 more entrepreneurs, as well as roll out over 500 ‘1Bridge Experience Centres’ at various Tehsil and Block towns that will enable consumers to touch and feel aspirational products.
Proceeds from the funding round will also be utilized towards scaling up its product and service offerings through strategic partnerships with consumer durables brands and fintech and credit companies that are looking to expand their reach in rural hinterlands, as well as strengthen its technology & data platform to make it more convenient for their ‘1Bridge Advisors’ or local micro-entrepreneurs to offer rural outreach and assisted commerce services.
The five-year-old 1Bridge, launched by Madan Padaki and co-founders Anil Kumar (CEO) and M Chakrawarty (Chief of Growth and Partnerships), is known to offer a platform that enables rural customers to order products online. It provides a wide range of aspirational products and digital services at the doorsteps of village consumers and works with local rural entrepreneurs (1Bridge Advisors) to help deliver them through an intuitive mobile-based tech platform. Having raised its maiden working facility from Ahmedabad-based NBFC Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth, the start-up is present in over 70 districts of Southern India and is presently operational in states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha. It has also onboarded over 10,000 strong networks of entrepreneurs, fulfilled 35 million transactions for rural consumers, and served 1.5 million village consumers directly.
“We have been actively participating in the evolution of 1Bridge – almost since its inception back in 2016, to now a leader in village commerce. The foundations of the company are built with a strong emphasis on rural consumer experience, assisted commerce platform, terrific execution capabilities, and a focus on being capital efficient. We are delighted to continue supporting the team as they embark on their next stage of scale & impact,” Arvind Agarwal, CEO, C4D Partners said.