[Funding alert] B2B social commerce platform ApnaKlub raises undisclosed amount in pre-Series A round from Blume Ventures and Whiteboard Capital
ApnaKlub, a homegrown social commerce platform on Thursday announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A round led by Blume Ventures and Whiteboard Capital.
Founded in 2020 by HBS Alumna Shruti and Manish Kumar, the Bengaluru-based startup aims to disrupt the traditional wholesale FMCG distribution landscape in India through its reseller led B2B platform for retailers and wholesalers based in Tier II, Tier III areas in India.
According to an official statement, the brand plans to use the investment to deepen its reach in rural geographies, expand its team across technology and operations and increase its range of services and brands for onboarded partners.
Commenting on the funding round, Shruti, CEO, ApnaKlub said,
“ApnaKlub empowers its partners in semi-urban and rural areas, by providing organised supply and digital tools so that they can build an efficient micro-business catering to the needs of shopkeepers and large families around them.
Their hard work and understanding of local needs coupled with our digital tools and learning modules makes for a winning micro-business.”
Speaking about the same, Manish, COO, ApnaKlub said,
“ApnaKlub started back in 2020 when the pandemic opened up Pandora’s box of problems of availability and price distribution in the rural supply structure of the country. These problems, which are deep-rooted, gave an opening to ApnaKlub to onboard and equip its partners with the supplies and tools required to build great micro-businesses.”
Within seven months of its inception, ApanKlub claims to serve 2500+ partners across 4500 pin codes. Its asset-light model allows anyone with a smartphone and a highly entrepreneurial drive to earn supplemental income by aggregating demand and supplying FMCG goods to retail (kirana) stores in their local community.
Commenting on the investment, Ashish Fafadia, Partner at Blume Ventures added,
"Traditional wholesale FMCG distribution in Tier II,III India is an extremely large market but has several inefficiencies today ranging from lack of transparency and parity in pricing due to layers of intermediaries, non-availability of a wider assortment of products, and a lack of convenience for the small kirana store owner, which ultimately negatively affects his revenues and profitability.
Further, smaller challenger brands in India who are unable to service these rural kirana stores directly find it extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive to access customers in these markets. ApnaKlub's differentiated model of using a scalable network of highly motivated entrepreneurs to aggregate demand and deliver FMCG products to these kiranas is an elegant solution to solve these challenges, while simultaneously unleashing the latent potential for micro-entrepreneurship across this country. We at Blume are very excited to disrupt the legacy FMCG distribution model in India and create a new generation of micro-entrepreneurs along with Shruti, Manish and the rest of the ApnaKlub team," he said.
“Given the massive inefficiencies in the retail supply chain across the low density markets, ApnaKlub’s mission to improve outcomes for the smaller MSME retailers across non-metro India through the innovative, tech-enabled and agent-led model is proving to be a deep-impact and profitable business model," added Anshu Prasher, General Partner at Whiteboard Capital.