India: Peel-Works raises $5m from Equanimity, HDFC, among others

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Mumbai-based Peel-Works Pvt. Ltd, a technology startup focused on offline retailers, has raised $5 million in a Series B round led by Equanimity Ventures, along with participation from HDFC Bank, Bruno Raschle and existing investors Unilever Ventures, Chiratae Ventures and Inventus Capital India.

The fresh capital will help Peel-Works strengthen its retail management platform Taikee, which claims to have more than 20,000 registered retailers across 16 cities, including Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Pune, Mysore and Chennai.

Taikee is a business-to-business e-commerce platform largely focused on the grocery segment. It allows offline grocery sellers to discover inventory prices and new brands in real time from the wholesale market. The company believes stores can improve sales and profitability margins through better access to pricing and demand forecasting using data.

Taikee will also use money from the current round to expand into new markets. It plans to expand to 25 cities and on-board 100,000 retailers over the next six to 12 months. In the grocery segment, Peel-Works is targeting a billion dollar gross merchandise value by the end of 2019.

“We are very excited to welcome Equanimity Ventures and HDFC Bank. We believe they will play a valuable role in helping the company widen its service/product offerings and build its fintech capabilities,” said Sachin Chhabra, chief executive, Peel-Works.

Indian shoppers continue to rely on brick-and-mortar stores for their monthly and daily grocery needs, Chhabra said. “Taikee helps these retailers grow faster, retain their customers and improve their profitability. The platform delivers this by helping the retailer right-size his assortment, buy it cheaper, and adopt technology that makes it convenient for shoppers to transact with him.”

“We believe Peel-Works, with its data-driven/tech-led approach complements HDFC Bank’s focus on delivering value to Indian retailers with digital solutions and banking services. Neighbourhood grocery stores are at the centre of India’s retail story and represent a vast market,” said Rakesh Singh, group head, investment banking, private banking, capital markets and financial institutions, HDFC Bank.

Peel-Works was founded in 2010 by Sachin Chhabra and Nidhi Ramachandran.

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This article was first published on livemint.com