1K Kirana, the Gurugram-based fourth year startup has raised $25 Mn in its Series B, to scale yet another VC-backed attempt at digitising India’s unorganised by highly functional ‘kirana’ stores network. The round was led by Alpha Wave Global ($11.5 Mn), Info Edge Ventures ($10.5 Mn) and Kae capital. Other investors include Beacon Trusteeship Ltd, Kalysta Capital, Elite Zilla, Infimomentum Ventures, Sachin Sharma and Amrit Acharya.
1K Kirana, founded by Kumar Sangeetesh, Abhishek Halder and Sachin Sharma, primarily serves as a distribution network for local departmental stores in order to alleviate their struggles of acquiring inventory at the best price available. They also take care of these stores’ digital marketing needs, to increase the customer numbers coming through the door. In addition to all of this, 1K Kirana maintain an App that end level consumers can use to make orders from these stores for home delivery and pay for them.
1K Kirana have set a goal to increase profit for these neighborhood stores by getting them best deals on inventory, and also allowing them to sell the same in larger numbers, to maximize the inefficient profitability of these stores. In the process, consumers get better access to a more diverse catalogue of items, with the option of a digital interaction, all while still supporting local businesses.
Further explaining, Co-founder Kumar Sangeetesh said, “We control their entire supply chain. We supply them the goods, we do the marketing, and we ensure that consumer footfall increases in the shop. These shops operate as a franchise partner and make money through commission instead of playing through the margin.”
Neighborhood stores make up a significant part of the ever-growing retail market of India, and as a variety of retail giants are putting in the hard yards to establish a market share. Many of them, like Amazon with their new Smart Commerce, have made efforts to incorporate these brick-and-mortar stores into their business model. 1K Kirana seem to have taken the ground-up approach instead, building up from these neighborhood stores and capitalising on their relatively stable consumer base, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.
“The kind of impact 1K has created in a very short period of time in the lives of consumers and franchisee partners alike is extremely hard to achieve. The 1K Mall app has already enabled lakhs of non-urban Indians to shop online for the first time,” said Kitty Agarwal, Partner at Info Edge Ventures, in a statement.
With this round, the total capital raised by 1K Kirana stands at $34 Million, and the company is now valued at $110 Mn, an impressive 5x jump from its extend series A round evaluation of $20 Mn.