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Express Stores, a technology-backed omni-channel branded kirana store chain, has raised Rs 8 crore (nearly $1.1 million) in a seed funding round.

The round in New Delhi-based Express Stores has been led by early-stage investor Venture Highway, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Set up by Neeraj Arora and Samir Sood, other companies in Venture Highway’s portfolio include Meesho, OkCredit, and Moglix.

Other participants in this round include Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, People Group’s Anupam Mittal, and Google’s Amit Singhal. A clutch of other high net-worth individual investors also took part in this round.

Express Stores, operated by Express Stores Info Retail Pvt Ltd, was set up in 2019 by Kartik Gupta and Apoorv Jain. 

Per his LinkedIn profile, Jain is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and has worked with companies including Rocket Internet and Urban Company. Gupta is a graduate of BITS-Pilani and has worked for firms like Flyrobe and Wadi.com.

Express Stores says its platform organises kirana stores through a technology-led supply chain. “We believe the next big opportunity lies in the modernisation of kiranas, a segment which continues to be largely unorganised,” Jain said.

Other startups focused on kirana stores that have raised capital in recent times include Jumbotail, which last month raised $14.2 million in a funding round dubbed Series B3, completing a targeted $25 million investment round.

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