ElasticRun, a B2B e-commerce platform, has raised $330 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The current round (Series E) has valued the company at $1.5 billion. In the last round, Series D in April 2021, had valued the company at $400 million.
The latest round has also seen participation from Chimera and Innoven along with long-term investor Prosus Ventures.
The investment will help the company expand its rural reach across the country, enabling over a million kirana (neighbourhood retail) shops to conveniently access big consumer brands and food brands through its e-commerce platform. ElasticRun will also use the funds to expand its services nationally like credit facilities for retailers to enhance the value and experience offered by the kirana stores to their customers.
India has over 12 million kirana shops across the country of which 10 million are in rural markets. These rural stores remain underserved by consumer brands due to the high-cost structures of traditional distribution networks, rural kirana store’s long distances from the cities and small order sizes.
“We are proud of the transformational impact of our business, which has empowered rural store owners and consumers across the length and breadth of the country. Through the pandemic, our robust logistics and channel framework ensured uninterrupted supply and support to our rural kirana partners,” said Sandeep Deshmukh, ElasticRun co-founder and CEO.
ElasticRun estimates that sales in kirana stores across rural markets will grow to $600 billion over the next five years .Apart from bringing e-commerce to rural consumers through its tech-first approach, the platform provides more than 300 brands with actionable insights by unlocking data about rural commerce.
Narendra Rathi, Vice President, SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, “With its deep reach in rural India and tech-led platform, we believe ElasticRun is well-positioned to unlock the next wave of e-commerce. We have been closely tracking the company and have been impressed by their growth, focus on unit economics and value creation for kirana store partners and brands.”
ElasticRun was founded by Sandeep Deshmukh, Shitiz Bansal and Saurabh Nigam in 2016. The company’s earlier investors include Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures), Kalaari Capital and Avataar Ventures.