[Funding alert] Rural tech startup VilCart raises Rs 15 Cr from Nabventures, others
Nabventures Fund, a venture capital fund started by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has led a Rs 15 crore funding round for rural-economy focused technology platformSolutions.
Existing investors Prashanth Prakash of Accel Partners, SJ Ashok, and Nagaraj R also participated in the funding round for the company, which provides a technology bridge between rural kiranas/rural consumers and consumer brands/manufacturers.
This is the eighth investment for Nabventures Fund since its launch in August 2020. The fund has invested Rs 106 crore of the Rs 375 crore it has raised, an official statement said, adding that it has a target to raise Rs 500 crore with a greenshoe option to retain another Rs 200 crore.
The 2018-incorporated Vilcart also provides sourcing, logistics, branding, and marketing support to brands and rural kirana and operates two mobile apps for retailers and rural consumers.
VilCart is present in 20 districts of Karnataka and one district each in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and aims to expand across the country in two years, as per the statement.
"We are a rural-to-rural company where we procure from rural manufacturers/farmers and sell to rural consumers including farmers by creating a rural dedicated digital supply chain," its Founder and CEO C Prasanna Kumar said.
NABARD and Nabventures chairman G R Chintala said it is looking to support the digitalisation of rural distribution channels through the investment and also pointed out that rural consumption data at a granular level is highly valuable.
"The rural distribution channel of consumer goods is offline, fragmented and broken at multiple levels. The micro-distribution platform of Vilcart helps increase the reach of both urban and rural brands and products to the large base of rural consumers," Nabventures' Ankit Bhatnagar said.