Rural commerce startup VilCart says eyeing Rs 1,250 Cr in turnover next FY

In a video interview series with YourStory, VilCart's CEO and Co-founder Prasanna Kumar said the startup is hoping to turn a profit in the new financial year, and hit Rs 12,000 crore in turnover in the next three years.
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Rural commerce startup VilCart, which helps village kirana stores easily procure inventory, and manage logistics and supply chains, expects to hit Rs 250 crore in turnover by the end of the current financial year, Co-founder and CEO Prasanna Kumar told YourStory in a conversation.

The Bengaluru-headquartered startup said it is targeting Rs 1,250 crore in turnover in the next year, Rs 6,000 crore in the year after that, and Rs 12,000 in the next three years, by conservative estimates.

For the current financial year, the startup is expecting to post an annual run rate of Rs 300 crore.

Prasanna added that VilCart is operationally reaching breakeven soon, and is expected to turn a profit thereafter, thanks, largely, to the tight leash it has on expenses.

"Our capital efficiency and return on capital employed are much higher too because we've raised very little (from VCs)."

VilCart has, to date, raised around Rs 375 crore in total, from investors including Prashanth Prakash of Accel Partners, and Nabventures Fund, a venture capital fund started by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Jyothirmayee, CEO of Hiveminds; Anand Banka, Head of Investments at Vedanta and Ex-director of EY; Kalit Kapur, AGM of Vendanta; and Girish, Founder of Qspiders and Testyantra, are also early backers in the company.

The startup was founded in 2018 by Prasanna, and his co-founders, Mahesh Bhat, Rajasekhar, and Amith S Mali.

VilCart started business from one district, and has now rapidly expanded to multiple districts in Karnataka, including Mandya, Kolar, and Bengaluru rural. It currently services nearly 5,000 villages in Karnataka, and has 45,000 kirana stores on its network.

Prior to founding VilCart, Prasanna had spent a decade as a chartered accountant. Amith, his co-founder, is an engineer by profession and also hails from a rural business family, like Prasanna.

Mahesh, also a CA, had worked in companies such as Infosys and IBM before he joined VilCart, whereas Rakashekar, an expert in food safety and quality, had worked with companies such as Bigbasket and Metro Cash & Carry - a big competitor for VilCart but in urban cities.

VilCart services its customers via its web platform as well as its app, easily accessible via voice and in multiple regional languages.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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