Mumbai: 1K Kirana Bazaar (1K), an offline to online neighbourhood store (kirana) network, today announced its Series A funding. They have raised USD 7 million in equity funding from marquee investors.

The investment round was co-led by Info Edge Ventures and Partners of Falcon Edge. 1K’s existing investor Kae Capital also participated in the round. Other investors include Blackbuck founders Rajesh Yabaji & Chanakya Hridaya and Hari TN from BigBasket. The company had raised around USD 1.5 million in prior rounds from Kae Capital and 1Crowd.

1K Kirana Bazaar funding
1K Kirana Bazaar store

1K is a consumer-focused retail brand that partners with neighbourhood kirana stores in India’s smaller towns to deliver an unmatched shopping experience to end consumers.

The company was founded in late 2018 by Kumar Sangeetesh, Sachin Sharma and Abhishek Halder. While Sachin, who has an MBA from NITIE Mumbai was Sangeetesh’s colleague at Blackbuck, Abhishek was Sangeetesh’s classmate from IIM Ahmedabad.

“The changing landscape of consumer demand has got us to focus on the real issue of meeting the demand and supply gap, especially in non-urban India. With these funds, our efforts are to bring parity to products and experiences to meet the rising standards of living among Bharat’s new consumers”.

Kumar Sangeetesh
CoFounder, 1K Kirana Bazaar

He also added, “With our super-fast but organic growth, we are confident that we will be able to expand to more markets in northern India and bring about a positive change in the lives of millions of consumers”.

1K helps unorganized kirana stores compete with both online and offline organized retail by adopting a first-of-its-kind technology stack that helps kirana store owners acquire and retain consumers, improves their sourcing efficiency, improves their assortment and pricing for end consumers and in the process helps them multiply their income manifold.

“1K has built an interesting business model to profitably cater to customers in smaller towns. The team has demonstrated strong on-ground execution backed by robust end to end in-house tech capabilities. We are excited to partner with them in their journey”.

Navroz D Udwadia
Founder, Falcon Edge Capital

The company is ushering in a new era of retail in Bharat with their asset-light model quickly scaling to 150 touch points and serving more than 100,000 consumers while maintaining robust unit economics.

“1K’s value proposition of bringing the benefits of organized retail to non-urban kirana store owners and consumers is much needed and getting strong traction. With first-time online shoppers organically discovering and buying on the 1K app, they are truly changing how Bharat shops and the choices available to consumers. To do all this profitably while multiplying the income of the kirana owner is an audacious goal. We are very excited to partner with the outstanding team at 1K who have shown superlative execution and understanding to make this happen while being capital efficient”.

Kitty Agarwal
Partner, Info Edge Ventures

1K’s consumer app further extends the capabilities of the kirana store by acting as a virtual shelf to stock long-tail items like homeware, kitchenware, electronics etc. which consumers can buy for pick up or delivery from the kirana store. Their app has seen promising organic adoption by thousands of consumers, most of whom are first-time online shoppers.

“1K has pioneered an asset light omnichannel retail strategy for Tier 3 & Tier 4 towns of Bharat which is first of its kind. Their unique business model and strong execution skills is going to transform the way consumers are getting served in rural and suburban India. Instead of creating entirely new networks, they are focussed on empowering the existing network through the power of technology and innovation.”

Gaurav Chaturvedi
Partner, Kae Capital

1K plans to use the new funds to expand to 1000+ kirana store partnerships in the next one year and serve more than a million consumers.

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