[Funding alert] Locofast raises $15M from Chiratae, Stellaris, others
, a fashion supply chain platform, raised $15 million, in a Series A funding round, from Stellaris Venture Partners and Chiratae Ventures.
The round, which is a mix of debt and equity, also saw participation from Kris Gopalakrishnan-led Axilor Ventures and angel investors including fintech firm Uni's Nitin Gupta, and Suhail Sameer — BharatPe's chief executive officer. Locofast raised an undisclosed amount of debt from Stride Ventures and Blacksoil Capital.
The firm will use the funds to develop existing products and launch new ones targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Locofast also plans on expanding in over 15 cities domestically and outside the country.
"We are also in the process of setting up regional offices in the US and the European market as we are getting interest from those locations," Deepak Wadhwa, Founder and CEO, Locofast told YourStory in an interaction.
Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneur Deepak and his co-founder Mohit Piplani — with whom he worked with in his last venture, WeAreHolidays, Locofast is a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for textile manufacturers and buyers.
“Most garments currently procure fabric from traders or small mills and are often short-changed on quality and delivery promise leading to loss of business. Locofast aggregates only high-quality mills on its
platform and does quality checks before dispatching the order," said Rahul Chowdhri, Partner, Stellaris Venture Partners, in a release shared by the firm.
Run by Locofast Online Services Pvt Ltd, the firm claims to have over 500 vendors selling on their platform and more than 200 monthly average transactions. "To get sellers, we have an on-ground acquisition team. We have taken a hybrid approach of onboarding sellers and buyers," says Deepak, who was also a product manager at MakeMyTrip, a travel portal.
Locofast has a 15-20 member sales team present in Tamil Nadu and others. "We have a couple of representatives across major textile locations in India," says Deepak. The Delhi-based founder also claims the firm team size will grow to 500, from the current 150 members, as Locofast expands.
‘’The Indian textile sector is one of the oldest industries in the country contributing about 2 percent of GDP and employing over 45 million people. It is a space that is ripe for digital transformation," said Ranjith Menon, Partner and Executive Director, Chiratae Ventures.
The pandemic also made B2B marketplaces take shape as most micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which essentially were not digitally savvy, were pushed to adopt digital means to survive through brutal lockdowns.