Chennai-based Inthree Access, a parent company of rural e-commerce platform Boonbox, has raised an undisclosed pre series A round from a group of investors including Keiretsu Forum and existing investors Indian Angel Network. Established by Inthree Access, Boonbox is an exclusive rural e-commerce platform.
Incorporated in 2011, Boonbox was founded by financial experts Ramachandran Ramanathan and Kartick Natarajan. Both Ramanathan and Natrajan quit large financial organizations to establish Inthree Access.
The startup works in the area of assisted e-commerce in the rural areas and now has presence in 8 states including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Punjab and Bihar. The startup delivers white goods ranging from refrigerators and TVs to mobile phones in rural India.
“We start with places that have a population of below 50,000 and we now service 3,000 unique pin-codes. We will go deeper in these geographies in the upcoming months,” said Ramanathan.
He further said, “The last month has been very encouraging. It takes a different formula to work with the rural areas because one has to tackle cultural issues as well. They want their independence while placing an order while at the same time, they want someone to advise them. We train our affiliates on the product catalogue so they can guide the buyer,”
The investors of startup includes Ajai Chowdhary, who is co-founder of HCL Technologies, on of India’s top IT firm.
The founders created an e-commerce platform (Boonbox) that is multilingual and easy to access by the rural community. Boonbox’s portal has both B2B and B2C elements built into them. In the B2B segment, Boonbox’s sales team reaches out to the retailers in rural areas.