[Funding alert] Express Stores raises Rs 8 Cr led by Venture Highway, Snapdeal founders, others

The funds would be utilised by the Gurugram-based startup for product-market fit, initial growth, talent addition, improving the supply chain, and technology.
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Express Stores, a Gurugram-based branded omni-channel chain of Bharat’s kiranas, has raised a seed funding of Rs 8 crore. The round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Venture Highway(founded by Neeraj Arora, ex-Whatsapp and Samir Sood, ex-Google) with the participation of marquee individual investors – Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal), Anupam Mittal (People Group), and Amit Singhal (Google) among others. 

The funds would be utilised by the startup for product-market fit, initial growth, talent addition, improving supply chain, and technology.

Apoorv Jain, CEO and Co-founder, Express Stores, said, 

“We believe the next big opportunity lies in the modernisation of kiranas, a segment which continues to be largely unorganised. Consumers need modern shopping experience in their neighbourhood while retailers need hassle-free, profitable business operations. Express Stores, with its 360-degree solution, aims to lead this change.”

Founders (L-R): Karthik Gupta and Apoorv Jain

Founded in 2019 by Apoorv Jain (IIT Delhi) and Kartik Gupta (BITS Pilani), Express Stores aims to be the ‘the most preferred daily needs store for the neighbourhood’. The company claims that it has achieved product-market fit with a unique, scalable, technologically driven, and contribution margin positive business model. The founders of Express Stores have worked in leadership roles at Urban Company (formerly UrbanClap), Jabong, Lazada, Flyrobe, and Wadi across India, Dubai and South-East Asian markets.

“We are excited to partner with Express Stores as they represent the ambition of next-gen Indian founders solving for Bharat. Grocery is an overwhelmingly large market, and the most important thing for a startup in this space is to have a clear sight of positive unit economics. We are confident that Apoorv, Kartik, and team are doing exactly that while scaling fast,” added Samir Sood, Founder, Venture Highway.

Venture Highway (VH) is a tech-focused seed fund with a presence in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Silicon Valley. Some of the portfolio companies include Meesho, Moglix, ShareChat, OkCredit, MPL, Airmeet etc.

According to Anupam Mittal, Founder, People Group, “Express Stores is tapping a massive retail opportunity and have mastered their GTM and playbook over the last year. I’m delighted and proud to partner with the team, who have the right mix of experimentation, execution and excellence.”

Edited by Kanishk Singh