5 startups that help kirana stores go digital

Here are some startups that help local unorganised kirana stores adopt modern retailing techniques.
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After the pandemic forced a rise in digital adoption, India’s retail market, especially the traditional mom-and-pop or kirana stores, took to digital transformation in a big way, and witnessed tremendous growth almost immediately.

Take a walk through any neighborhood in India and one thing you will not miss is the kirana store. These stores still play a pivotal role in serving the daily needs of Indian households. There are approximately 12.8 million grocery retailers across India, according to a report by Statista. And, this unorganised retail sector accounts for about 88 percent of the overall retail market.

Increasingly, we have seen startups bring  in a new wave of digitisation, touching upon every sector.  In recent times, many startups have focussed on building a more easily accessible world by helping local businesses and stores leverage technology. This has helped these stores with better connectivity, and  last-mile connectivity. 

According to a Statista report, the online retail industry in India is valued at approximately $60 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow to $73 billion by 2022. 

YourStory has curated a list of startups that are enabling traditional retail and grocery stores to create an online presence. 

Gully Network

Founded in 2019 by Ajay Nain and Prateek Chaturvedi, Bengaluru-based grocery-tech Gully Network, offers order and payment, inventory, and other solutions for mid-sized departmental stores.

Ajay Nain, Gully Network

The startup provides tailor-made integrated tech solutions to mid-sized kirana stores, stone-alone, and transforms them into modern trade omni channels, empowering them to generate additional income while modernising their store end-to-end. 

In November 2020, the startup raised a pre-Series A round worth $1.2 million led by Venture Catalysts to create new income streams with strengthening and to scale its offerings for retailers as well as end consumers.

"We see that despite using multiple platforms for online sales, POS, supply, and loan, retailers still struggle with manual and inefficient day-to-day operations. Non-exclusive B2B apps have not gained the loyalty from retailers. We work exclusively with stores and tech-enable them in all possible ways. We doubled their net income and completely automated their operations. We have achieved our initial product-market fit and with this raise, we aim to scale to 100 stores." Ajay said. 

ShopKirana

Founded by Tanutejas Saraswat, Deepak Dhanotiya, and Sumit Ghorawat in 2015, Indore-based business-to-business (B2B) platform ShopKirana connects small retailers and kirana stores owners in Tier-II cities with FMCG brands for procurement.

ShopKirana founders

ShopKirana helps with one-stop procurement and uses technology to ensure timely delivery and payment for stocks. It provides the brand with trends in heat maps, retail markets, and other meaningful insights for high average order value, retention, and digital reach.

In January 2022, the startup raised $38 million in Series C round led by Oman India Joint Investment Fund, Sixth Sense Ventures, and Returning investor info Edge and others to expand its business to other cities.

"Brands pay us for analytics, go-to-market, branding, and analytics apart from the commission on sales made on our platform. We are providing a go-to-market platform for the brands," Sumit Ghorawat, Co-founder at ShopKirana, told YourStory

According to the press announcement, at present, the startup works with a network of 50,000 retailers across eight cities in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.

Kirana King

Founded in 2017 by Anup Kumar, Deepak Dusad, and Balwant Singh Rana, Jaipur-based grocery retail aggregator Kirana King Retail Network focuses on enhancing and empowering the retailer’s quotient by ensuring seamless supply chain ability at shelf management level.

The Kirana King Team

The startup works with leading FMCG brands, local brands, and regional brands to assist retailers create product selection based on the availability on their shelves, build brand marketing efforts and create consumer connect.

In November 2020, the startup raised Rs 7 crore from RVCF to expand its retail network, enhance manpower, and develop technology.

"We defined the problem statement at the brainstorming level of our idea of Kirana King in two words: empowerment and change, as most of the dynamic and revolutionary products or services across the globe have been driven either through empowerment or change. We went into detailed study of the missing links that had been acting as severe bottlenecks in the grocery retail ecosystem in India," said Anup.

Jumbotail

Founded in 2015 by Ashish Jhina and S Karthik Venkateswaran in 2015, Bengaluru-based Jumbotail is a retail platform and food and grocery B2B marketplace.

S Karthik Venkateswaran (R) with co-founder Ashish Jhina (L) started Jumbotail in 2015.

The startup helps the largely unorganised neighborhood kirana store network with its full-stack ecommerce model, consisting of its B2B marketplace platform, last-mile delivery supply chain network, and warehousing, and a fintech platform for payment and credit solutions for the store owners.

In December 2021, Jumbotail raised $85 million in a Series C round led by Artal Asia Pte. Ltd. to triple its team and scale its core B2B marketplace to 100 cities and towns across India.

"We have built a very capital efficient and operationally profitable business by focusing on solving problems for kiranas. Our J24 store network is emerging as the ecosystem of choice for kirana store owners looking to seamlessly transform their kiranas into modern grocery stores, and to compete better in an increasingly technology-driven retail world," said Ashish.

SnapBizz

Founded by Prem Kumar in 2013, Bengaluru-based retail-tech startup SnapBizz works with kirana stores in unorganised sector in cities like Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai, helping them build an e-commerce presence and aiding them in managing their supply chain, apart from providing predictive analytical solutions to bigger retail brands.

Prem Kumar, founder of SnapBizz

In January 2022, the startup raised $7.2 million from Jungle Blume and others to accelerate its growth and expansion.

"We monetise our platform with FMCG stakeholders with our range of services, targeted consumer engagement, data and analytics, and optimisation of supply chain operations, and make money on the software licence fees," Prem said. 

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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