Jumbotail, an online wholesale marketplace for food and grocery products, has raised Rs 90 crore (~ US$12.933 Mn) in a Series B round of funding led by Heron Rock, with participation from Capria Fund, BNK Ventures and William Jarvis and existing investors, Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital.
Jumbotail connects tens of thousands of kirana stores with brands and producers via its marketplace platform. Jumbotail’s easy to use mobile ordering app, fully integrated highly reliable supply chain network and last-mile storefront delivery service, all operated by Jumbotail, payment and credit solutions to kirana store owners, and PoS integration with omni channel access, help kirana stores run their business in ways previously unimaginable and compete better in an increasingly technology driven world.
Jumbotail will use the funds to extend its market leadership by investing in AI driven operational excellence in supply chain, forward integration of the Jumbotail platform with PoS, integrating backward to farmers, on-boarding new FMCG brands and expanding its team.
Jumbotail was founded by S.Karthik Venkateswaran, and Ashish Jhina, Stanford MBA classmates. Karthik served with the Indian army in hard combat and is a marketplaces product veteran from eBay-US and Flipkart. As Director-Products at Flipkart, Karthik led product and marketing teams to drive Seller growth, and improve trust by shaping seller behavior via seller governance products and systems. Ashish Jhina is a 3rd generation apple farmer, and a former consultant with BCG, with deep experience in agricultural production and supply chains. During his stint at BCG, Ashish worked with the government and the UN World Food Program (WFP) to streamline India’s public distribution system (PDS) using Aadhaar to prevent leakage.
Says Ashish Jhina, Co-founder & COO, Jumbotail, “We have achieved market leadership through our single minded focus on the kirana store. 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. The top FMCG brands and staples producers in the country work directly with Jumbotail as we provide them with capabilities that none of their other channels offer”.
“We believe that Jumbotail is best positioned to modernize India’s food and grocery industry all the while strengthening and securing India’s food supply chain, and providing more stability to Indian farmers. We are proud to partner with Jumbotail on this mission”. says Tom Williams, General Partner of Heron Rock, an omni-stage venture fund with offices in Toronto and San Francisco.
Sameer Brij Verma, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners, adds, “Jumbotail’s full-stack approach to modernize general trade via cutting edge tech driven supply chain, data-driven merchandising and credit is the most scalable way to revolutionise India’s grocery retail. The company is well positioned to power the online-to-offline new retail rollouts in the country in the coming years. We have been firm believers in the team and their approach from the very beginning”.
Rajesh Raju, Managing Director, Kalaari Capital, says, “Food and grocery is a rapidly growing $300B+ market in India which will be serviced predominantly by the kirana stores for the foreseeable future. Creating value for millions of kirana stores, and their ecosystem of brands and consumers is one of the hardest problems to solve, and we believe Jumbotail has the right team to do this”.
Says S.Karthik Venkateswaran, Co-founder & CEO, Jumbotail, “We have built a great team of missionaries relentlessly focussed on solving very hard problems in unorganised food and grocery value chain, using first principles thinking. We are the friend of the Kirana stores, and we believe truly transformative solutions to this problem require a full stack approach. Our technology and supply chain operational capabilities will help modernize traditional kirana stores at scale, in a very capital efficient manner”.
There are estimated 12m kirana stores in India, controlling more than 95% of the $350B food and grocery market. The kirana store ecosystem is going to be hugely benefited by technology, supply chain, and fintech solutions from startups like Jumbotail.