India: Jumbotail raises $13m in Series B funding to expand ops

Onions are displayed for sale at an Akidai YK supermarket in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. Economists trimmed their Japan growth forecasts for this year despite a better-than-expected fourth quarter annualized gross domestic product figure, according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg News. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Jumbotail, an online wholesale marketplace for food and grocery products, has raised ₹90 crore in a Series B round of funding led by Heron Rock, with participation from Capria Fund, BNK Ventures and William Jarvis and also Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital who are the existing investors, .

Jumbotail will use the fresh funds to expand its supply chain, integrating the Jumbotail platform with PoS machines and with farmers, getting new FMCG brands onboard and for hiring new talent.

Jumbotail connects kirana stores with brands and grocery producers via its marketplace platform. It has a mobile app that allows stores to order online and also offers payment and credit solutions to kirana store owners.

The startup also has a fully integrated supply chain network of its own, and a last-mile storefront delivery service. Jumbotail had previously secured $8.5 million in its Series A round in 2017.

The startup was founded in 2015 by S Karthik Venkateswaran and Ashish Jhina. Venkateswaran previously worked with online marketplaces like eBay US and Flipkart in the past. As Director (Products) at Flipkart, Venkateswaran led product and marketing efforts at the Walmart-owned e-commerce firm.

Jhina has prior experience in farming, agricultural production and supply chains. He also earlier worked with Boston Consulting Group as a consultant.

“We have built supply chain and delivery capabilities to serve kirana stores at large scale with the widest selection of staples and FMCG products. The top FMCG brands and staples producers in the country work directly with Jumbotail as we provide them with capabilities that none of their other channels offer,” said Jhina, co-founder and chief operating officer of Jumbotail, in a statement.

“Jumbotail’s full-stack approach to modernize general trade via cutting edge tech-driven supply chain, data-driven merchandising and credit is the most scalable way to revolutionize India’s grocery retail. The company is well positioned to power the online-to-offline new retail rollouts in the country in the coming years,” added Sameer Brij Verma, managing director, Nexus Venture Partners.

According to Jumbotail’s estimates, there are around 12 million kirana stores in India, controlling more than 95% of the $350-billion food and grocery market. Jumbotail is one of the many startups in the business-to-business (B2B) wholesale supply space focused on kirana stores and other mom-and-pop store formats.

Other startups such as ShopKirana and Udaan are also creating systems for easy access to wholesale procurement for small stores. Apart from this, behemoths like Reliance Jio, Amazon and Walmart are also competing with tech startups to supply wholesale inventory to kirana stores.

On the consumer side, hyperlocal delivery startups such as Dunzo and Grofers are bringing in a new channel of business from app users.

In the agriculture sector too, a number of new startups such as DeHaat, Agrostar, Intello Labs and others have been attracting funding from venture capitalists and angel investors.

This article was first published on livemint.com.