India’s kirana store space still continues to dominate the retail sector, and many firms have been trying to capture this market, to no avail. Reliance, Amazon, and many others have launched multiple products to try and become the first kirana-tech company in India, but so far, none of them have had any success. Trying to tap that same, complicated $800Bn Indian offline retail space is ‘Dukaan’, which has just raised $11Mn in a seed round.
The company has raised $11Mn in a Pre Series A financing round led by New York-headquartered 640 Oxford Ventures. Venture Catalysts, HOF Capital, Old Well Ventures, LetsVenture, 9Unicorns, and existing investors including Lightspeed Partners and Leopard Ventures, along with angel investors Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo and OnePlus founder Carl Pei (currently founder of ‘Nothing’).
Dukaan’s name tells everything you need to know about its offering. The company allows merchants across India to set up their online stores, providing no code solutions to for those that are looking to go online. However, Dukaan’s functionality does not just end at kirana stores- it can also be used by restaurants, or teachers who are looking to set up a digital presence.
All a merchant needs to do to go online using Dukaan’s platform is verify their email address and assign a name to their store. After this is done, stores can either manually add their products to their online shop, or take pictures for them to be automatically logged into the inventory in case of grocery items.
The company also allows merchants to accept payments on its platform. Moreover, it can also help stores invest into marketing on Facebook and Google and helps them rank better on Google search, as part of its Dukaan Infinity plan.
The price for the base plan is ₹6,999 and the Infinity plan, as well as Dukaan Enterprise for large businesses, can be bought for additional charges. The company already counts BigBasket and Nivea among its users.
“We founded Dukaan because we saw small businesses and first-time entrepreneurs struggling to digitise and make their presence online. We became obsessed with the idea of making the most affordable, easy-to-use, mobile-first commerce platform in the world.” Suumit Shah, chief executive of Dukaan, said.
The company plans to use these funds to build its own payments gateway and also develop plugins to integrate with delivery firms and their aggregators. It aims to expand its operations, hire web designers and developers and establish key strategic partnerships to grow its paying merchant base