Info Edge, others invest in B2B e-commerce platform ShopKirana
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Indore-based Shop Kirana E Trading Pvt. Ltd, which runs business-to-business platform ShopKirana, has raised $2 million (Rs 14 crore at current exchange rates) from Info Edge, the parent company of job portal Naukri, a company statement said.

Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund (AET Fund), the investment fund of Japanese entertainment company Akatsuki Inc., Incubate Fund, seed investment firm, and Better Capital AngelList syndicate had also put in money, the statement added.

The startup will use the capital to expand operations to 10 more cities in the coming year, targeting one lakh retailers, the statement said.

Separately, in a stock-exchange filing, Mumbai-listed Info Edge said it will invest Rs 13.40 crore in ShopKirana in a mix of primary infusion and secondary purchase. The investor will own 15.5% stake in the startup on a fully converted and diluted basis after completing the fundraising exercise.

ShopKirana connects individual retailers with suppliers via a B2B e-commerce platform, where they can place orders, get their products delivered and make payments. The startup works with various stakeholders in the groceries, fast moving consumer goods and supply chain sectors.

Founded in February 2015 by Sumit Ghorawat, Tanutejas Saraswat and Deepak Dhanotiya, ShopKirana is an app-based platform which integrates the demands of retailers and passes them on to brands, thereby ensuring competitive prices and a single sourcing channel for retailers. In turn, brands get to directly connect with retailers for promotions or product launches. The supply chain innovation startup provides value-added services like logistics, banking, loans, information technology and ordering systems to the retailers.  

“ShopKirana services small retailers and empowers them to compete with organised retail and online players. They are addressing a large problem and we look forward to working with them closely,” said Kitty Agarwal, head of corporate development at Info Edge.

ShopKirana’s rival Just Buy Live, an e-distributor that connects shopkeepers with consumer brands, suspended operations in March this year. In January 2016, the company raised $20 million (around Rs 136 crore) in a Series A funding round from Alpha Capital.

In August 2017, the company had announced that it had raised $100 million (Rs 640 crore) in a Series B funding round from Dubai-based investment banking firm Ali Cloud Investment. At that time, the round was seen as one of the single largest fundraises into a B2B e-commerce entity.

The AET Fund is a $50-million investment vehicle launched in 2017 by Los Angeles and Tokyo-based entertainment company Akatsuki Inc.

Incubate Fund is a seed-focused venture capital fund based in Tokyo, Singapore, and Bengaluru. 

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