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Venture Catalysts leads pre-Series A funding in retail-tech startup Gully Network
Gully Network founders Prateek Chaturvedi (left) and Ajay Nain

Gully Network Retail Pvt Ltd, a retail-tech startup focussed on providing a full stack of services to mid-sized stores, has raised $1.2 million (Rs 8.9 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round.

The round in Bengaluru-based Gully Network has been led by startup incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts, marking the platform’s latest bet this year. 

Other participants include Inflection Point (IP) Ventures – which has also been active this year – and DFAN (Digital Futurists Angels Network).

Gully Network was set up last year by Ajay Nain and Prateek Chaturvedi. An alumnus of IIT-Madras, Nain earlier co-founded RentoMojo, an online rental marketplace for furniture, home appliances, and bikes. Chaturvedi is a graduate of IIM-Ahmedabad and has worked with firms including Cipla and McKinsey.

The company says its platform provides services used by modern retail trade chains.

“We see that despite using multiple platforms for online sales, POS (point of sales), supply, and loan, retailers still struggle with manual and inefficient day-to-day operations,” Nain said. 

Gully Network says its platform results in automated end-to-end operations and increased income for its customer base.

The company will use this capital to scale its presence to at least 100 stores, its co-founder added. It is also planning to open new income streams for itself and its retail partners. 

In November last year, Gully Network raised Rs 5 crore (around $700,000) from early-stage VC firm Orios Venture Partners, which has backed several startups in the online consumer technology and software-as-a-service sectors.

Investors

Venture Catalysts was set up in 2015 by Sharma, Anuj Golecha, Anil Jain and Gaurav Jain. It invests between $250,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage startups and provides networking and mentoring to its portfolio companies.

It has made several bets despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of its recent investments include electric vehicle charging services startup Charge+Zone, business-to-business healthcare product distribution platform Biddano, and impact and artisans-focussed Rare Planet Handicrafts.

At the start of September, it hit the first close of its maiden vehicle – the 9Unicorns Accelerator Fund – at Rs 100 crore (around $13.7 million).

IP Ventures was founded in 2017 as a by-invitation-only network. The initiative makes most of its bets at early-stage to pre-Series A stages. In September, it invested $200,000 (around Rs 1.5 crore) in AFK Gaming, an e-sports news and media company.

In August, it invested $1 million (around Rs 7.41 crore) in Crofarm Agriproducts Pvt Ltd, which operates ventures including social commerce-focussed Otipy. Also that month, the firm invested an undisclosed sum in Eden Smart Homes LLP, which operates an IoT-based startup focussed on home automation solutions.

It does make some bets beyond the pre-Series A stage as well. In June, for example, it led a $5.5 million (around Rs 42 crore) funding round in hyperlocal grocery delivery startup Milkbasket.

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