Xpand, Last Mile Channel Enhancement’s (LMCE) business-to-business logistics and warehousing platform, has raised $1.5 million in a Pre-Series A funding round at a valuation of nearly $10 million.
The company plans to use the funds used to build a trained geo-local salesforce, it said in a statement on Tuesday.
The funding round was led by Akash Prakash, chief executive officer of Amansa Capital. Prime Securities Ltd was the exclusive investment banker to this transaction.
“We have already made substantial investment in the pre-incorporation stage towards technology and market prioritisation. The raised funds will help us further our goal of “speed to scale” and give thrust to our tech endeavours,” said Sanjay Kaul, Founder, CEO, LMCE.
LMCE’s Xpand platform was incorporated two months ago by Kaul, Sanjay Panigrahi, Sankalp Potbahre, Pradeep Kaul and Nidhi Singh. The B2B platform enables companies to foray into rural India. The Xpand application analyses, predicts and recommends consumer behaviour, which is on the basis of data collected from 2.5 lakh rural stores and brands, distributors and local kirana stores, said Nikhil Kaul, Chief Operating Officer, LMCE.
Demand for logistics in rural India has grown stronger lately, owing to e-commerce companies like Flipkart and Amazon.
According to a recent study by Ken Research, a high proportion of demand is expected to come from tier II and cities in lower categories (such as tier 2 and tier 3) primarily owing to cheap data plans, increased use of smartphones, rise in per-capita income and increasing propensity to purchase online in these areas in the next five years.
“With Xpand, we aim to reach to 16 states, 30,000 villages, and over 3 lakh retailers by 2023. We plan to strengthen its hold in rural India by expanding to at least 18% of kirana stores and scaling up to 33% of total potential by 2025,” Kaul said.