Indian Angel Network invests in Chennai-based rural distribution firm Inthree

Indian Angel Network (IAN), a national network of angel investors, has invested an undisclosed amount in Chennai-based Inthree Access Services Pvt Ltd, according to a press release. The round was co-led by Ashvin Chadha who will also join the board of Inthree.

Inthree is an impact venture that helps the Indian hinterland access products and services, through its focus on distribution, project implementation and consultancy services.

The company will use the funding to fuel its evolution into a complete rural consumer firm with a strong sourcing and technology backbone. It is currently concentrating on South India and will strive to dominate the geographies in depth and gain the ability to access households even at village level.

“Villages in India have spending power, but they also have some unique problems. By utilising our understanding of these problems and strong network in the rural areas we intend to offer equally unique solutions to tap into the rural opportunity,” said Ramachandran Ramanathan, co-founder, Inthree.

Inthree has so far distributed products to over 4 lakh households in semi urban and rural locations using non-traditional channels like India post, community based NGOs and micro finance institutions, among others. It also assists corporates in designing and implementing projects in rural locations, aimed at improving health care and education.

The products it distributes include solar lamps, smokeless stoves and micronutrients.

“There has been a considerable increase in consumer spends in rural India as the overall sense of well-being has increased. From product development to marketing strategies, companies are increasingly beginning to change the way they target the country’s rural population. In this scenario, Inthree plays a vital role in bridging the huge gap between manufacturers and rural consumers,” said IAN's Chadha.

IAN is an angel investor network with over 300 investors across 10 countries. It has a portfolio of more than 100 companies across multiple sectors like IT, mobile, healthcare and education, gaming, hospitality, semiconductor and social media.

Most recently, it invested in London-based Lowdownapp Ltd, the startup behind Lowdown, a mobile app that equips business professionals with critical information in advance of important meetings.

Over the last two years, IAN has funded over 40 deals investing close to $25 million. Earlier this month, IAN invested under $1 million in Hyderabad-based Ten20 Infomedia Pvt Ltd, the startup behind Zippr, a mobile app that helps users create a short code to replace traditional long addresses.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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