Chennai-based rural e-commerce startup Inthree Access Services Pvt. Ltd has raised $4 million (Rs 28 crore) in a Series A funding round led by early-stage venture capital firm Ventureast.
Orios Venture Partners and the Indian Angel Network's IAN Fund also took part in this round, Inthree Access said in a statement.
The company said it aims to use the funds to strengthen its technology backbone, enhance last-mile logistics and cement its presence in the 10 states where it operates.
Inthree was founded in 2013 by Ramachandran Ramanathan, Karthik Natarajan and Narayanan, who goes by a single name. Ramanathan, a chartered accountant by training, previously worked with companies such as RPG Group, ICICI and TVS Group. Natarajan worked with Citigroup, TVS and Fullerton India Credit while Narayanan worked with telecom companies Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Tat DoCoMo, according to the company's website.
Inthree operates under the brand name Boonbox and has an omni-channel business model. It provides people in the hinterland access to products and services. The company claims to have sold more than 1.5 million durable goods to more than one million households.
The three co-founders said in the statement that rural consumers are aspirational and increasingly seeking sophisticated products and services. They added that Inthree focuses on delivering the most appropriate products to these consumers at their homes and also providing after-sales service.
Siddhartha Das, general partner at Ventureast, said that Boonbox is ushering “the next wave of rural transformation” by delivering branded products to rural consumers.
“By mitigating the friction points around financing, last-mile logistics, and supply chain through technology-based solutions, Inthree is pioneering the shift to assisted rural e-commerce,” Das said.
Ventureast has been investing since 1997. The two-decade-old firm, which has about $325 million in assets under management, has made more than 100 investments so far.
Ventureast’s previous investments include drugmaker Gland Pharma, semiconductor firm Moschip, lending startup Kissht and Little Eye Labs, a tool for app developers which was the first Indian company acquired by Facebook.