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Contactless shopping startup Wagonfly raises funding
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Wagonfly Smart Shopping Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which provides contactless shopping and delivery experience, has raised $500,000 (approximately Rs 3.81 crore at current exchange rates) in funding, according to reports.

The Bengaluru-based startup has raised the capital from ITI Growth Opportunities Venture Fund, the Investment Trust of India (ITI)-led early-stage fund, Mint reported, citing a company executive. Angel investor Manoj Kumar also took part in this exercise.

Raghavendra Prasad, founder at Wagonfly, said the ongoing pandemic caused by COVID-19 will bring a paradigm shift in the operations of the retail space.

The company’s platform will allow its business-to-business customers to track their merchandise and provide them with data points for optimising their systems, he said.

Wagonfly, which was set up by Prasad in 2018, uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to tag items in a retail store to enable services such as inventory management and asset tracking, with an overall view to minimizing human interaction during a shopping session.

VCCircle has reached out to Wagonfly on the details of the investment and will update this report accordingly.

“Wagonfly’s solution is what will help retailers build trust in shoppers to walk into brick and mortar stores - by creating a completely contact-free shopping experience with zero human interaction and cashier-less stores,” ITI Growth Opportunities Venture Fund managing general partner Mohit Gulati said.

The investment in Wagonfly comes as startups and established brands seek to work around the restrictions caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus in India and large parts of the world.

Startups have introduced various measures, including introducing stricter hygiene standards for employees to pooling services with other companies to increase operations. However, there have been reports of job losses and employee furloughs as well.

None of this has dampened early-stage investor interest in startups across sectors. Several startups across sectors have raised funding in the last few weeks, with big-ticket cheques being written to some companies as well.

Investors have also taken note of the ongoing crisis and have announced measures to accelerate the development of programmes aimed at mitigating the impact of the virus. Last month, for example, Omidyar Network India Advisors Pvt. Ltd committed $1 million (around Rs 7.5 crore) to fund proposals aimed at the pandemic.

The Mumbai-based domestic arm of the US impact investment firm said it had invited proposals in the range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 2 crore and will target several kinds of funding initiatives.

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