Jumbotail, an online wholesale marketplace for food and grocery products, has raised Rs 90 crore in a Series-B round of funding.
The round was led by Heron Rock, with participation from Capria Fund, BNK Ventures and William Jarvis, and existing investors, Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.
Jumbotail is a mobile ordering app, with an integrated supply chain network and a last-mile storefront delivery service. It connects traditional stores (kiranas)with brands and producers through its marketplace platform. It also offers payment and credit solutions to kirana store owners, and Point of Sales (PoS) integration with omni channel access. Jumbotail will use the funds to invest in Artificial Intelligence-driven operations in the supply chain, forward integration of its platform with PoS, integrating backward to farmers, getting new fast moving consumer goods brands and expanding its team.
The entity was founded by S Karthik Venkateswaran and Ashish Jhina, MBA classmates at Stanford. Venkateswaran, who is chief executive, served with the Indian army in hard combat and has experience in marketplaces products from eBay-US and Flipkart.
As products director at Flipkart, he led product and marketing teams to drive seller growth and shaping seller behavior via governance products and systems, said the company.
Jhina is a third-generation apple farmer and worked with The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He has experience in agricultural production and supply chains. At BCG, he worked with the government and the UN World Food Program to streamline India’s public distribution system, using Aadhaar to prevent leakage.
Jhina is chief operating officer at Jumbotail. He says, “We are levelling the playing field for millions of kirana stores by plugging them into our platform and helping them compete better in an increasingly technology-driven retail world. We have built supply chain and delivery capabilities to serve kirana stores at large scale, with the widest selection of staples and FMCG products."
“We believe Jumbotail is best positioned to modernise India’s food and grocery industry, all the while strengthening and securing India’s food supply chain, and providing more stability to Indian farmers,” said Tom Williams, general partner at Heron Rock, an omni-stage venture fund with offices in Toronto and San Francisco.
Rajesh Raju, managing director at Kalaari Capital, says: “Food and grocery is a rapidly growing over-$300 billion market in India which will be serviced predominantly by kirana stores for the foreseeable future. Creating value for millions of kirana stores, and their eco-system of brands and consumers, is one of the hardest problems to solve and we believe Jumbotail has the right team to do this.”
There are around 12 million kirana stores, controlling at least 95 per cent of the $350-billion food and grocery market in India, added the company.