Grocery-tech startup Kirana King that aggregates neighborhood stores said Monday it has raised INR 70 million (USD 943,000) from Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) in its pre-Series A funding round.
The three-year-old startup that is currently present only in the west Indian state of Rajasthan, will use the fresh funding to expand in other parts of the country. Meanwhile, it will focus on increasing its footprint in other cities of Rajasthan aiming to onboard 1,000 stores by the end of 2021, a report by local media Economic Times (ET) said.
Currently, it has partnered with over 200 stores. Kirana King provides different services to small retail stores such as help them with supply chain and marketing, transforms these stores to enable more walk-in customers by helping them change their look as well as operations from a traditional store to a modern grocery store akin to a supermarket. It also offers e-commerce solutions such as digitizing their inventory to enable online orders.
“We wanted to create India’s largest offline marketplace for grocery retail by way of focusing on standardization, centralization & digitization and by giving new look & identity to kirana shops in India,” the company states this as its mission on the website.
India has over 15 million neighborhood stores or kiranas that are highly fragmented. They make up about 90% of India’s retail market size of around USD 600–700 billion. Due to the market fragmentation, a handful of startups see a huge opportunity in digitizing and standardizing these physical retail stores are shooting up. Earlier this month, Bengaluru-based Gully network that partners with unbranded stand-alone grocery stores to provide them a tech platform and automate their end-to-end operations raised USD 1.2 million from Venture Catalysts. Similarly, b2b grocery startup Jumbotail that helps retail stores to procure their monthly inventory via its app is also offering solutions to standardize these shops under the brand name J24.
Gaurav Chowdhry, vice president at RVCF told ET, India has been witnessing substantial changes in kirana or grocery retail. “There are not only certain large corporate houses eying the space but also the emergence of few strong regional players like Kirana King who are backed with huge on the ground experience,” he said.