B2B rural e-commerce startup VilCart announces that it has raised $18 million (Rs 144 crore) in a Series A round led by Asia Impact SA. The round also saw the participation of Nabventures Fund and Texterity.
The Bengaluru-based startup aims to expand its operations to the entire southern India by 2024. The startup has launch new products and support initiatives launched towards rural women entrepreneurs.
Prasanna Kumar and Amith S Mali founded VilCart in 2018. With the vision to connect farmer producer organisations (FPO), brands, rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs), manufacturing to Kirana stores present in the villages through their supply chain and logistics facilities.
VilCart provides a local language mobile app for rural kirana stores and consumers in addition to sourcing, logistics, technology, marketing, and branding partners. The AI/ML capabilities of the application assist kirana owners with inventory management and credit management, among other services.
The startup started with one district in Karnataka and has since expanded to 85,000 Kirana stores in 30,000 villages, covering 29 districts in Karnataka and one each in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. VilCart’s revenue increased by 2.6x to $25 million (Rs 203 crore) in FY22, from $9.6 million (Rs 78 crore) in FY21.
VilCart’s fundraising comes at a time when a slew of rural-focused tech startups have piqued the interest of institutional investors.
Cropin Technologies, based in Bengaluru, raised $13.7 million (Rs 113 crore) in a funding round led by Google and JSR Corporation, as well as existing investors ABC World Asia and Chiratae Ventures, in January.
DeHaat raised $60 million in a Series E funding round led by existing investors Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and Belgium’s Sofina Ventures in December, and Hesa raised $2.3 million (around Rs 17.7 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Venture Catalysts in June 2022.
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