SuperK Raises INR 6 Cr In Seed Round Led By Strive VC

The company plans to utilize this investment to expand its infrastructure, improving technology, and hiring talent

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Bengaluru- and Kadapa-based tech-enabled grocery retail aggregator SuperK—that enables local entrepreneurs to set up and operate mini supermarkets and provide a modern retail experience to customers of tier-III, IV, and V towns of India—announced on Thursday to have raised INR 6 crore in a Seed funding round led by Strive VC and saw participation from Firstcheque, Ramakant Sharma & Syndicate, Srinivas Anumolu, Anand Chandrasekaran, Lalit Keshre, Rajan Bajaj, Sampad Swain, and many more veterans from the startup ecosystem.

SuperK

The company plans to utilize this investment for expanding its infrastructure, improving technology, and hiring talent.

"Our mission is to bring modern retail experiences to the smallest of towns in India by empowering entrepreneurs from these towns to easily own and operate supermarkets. Most other startups that are helping retailers are only providing tools to these stores while we are driving outcomes for the stores by using the technology ourselves. We have spent the last 1.5 years validating and tweaking our business model and with a strong operating playbook in place, we are now investing in logistics infrastructure and tech products to further improve and scale our network of stores,” said Neeraj Menta, co-founder, SuperK.

With an aim to revolutionize the retail sector of small towns, the company has said to have been enhancing the customer experience by building a branded retail chain from the ground that is designed keeping in mind the specific needs of these small towns. The team’s global exposure and the small-town connection is the ultimate recipe for building a successful Tier-II and below towns’ franchise grocery retail chain. SuperK is already the largest grocery chain in Kadapa District of AP and fast becoming a recognized brand. For instance, a town like Veeraballi doesn’t even have an ATM or a petrol station but thanks to SuperK they can still enjoy the benefits of a modern retail experience from a store operated by a local person, the company shared.

“While existing organized retailers are competing with individual retailers, SuperK is enabling local entrepreneurs to effectively compete with large chains. Their unique business model allows them to be asset-light and operate with negative working capital. This allows SuperK to scale much faster than any other retail chain. A scalable business model along with a strong tech background of the founders will make SuperK the largest retail chain of India in the next 10 years,” Nikhil Kapur, partner, Strive VC.

SuperK has built an end-to-end integrated system that enables franchise stores to offer standardized low pricing, consistent quality, discounts, cashbacks, with a digital bill. It manages procurement, marketing, promotions, and merchandising for all stores through tech systems and a standard operating plan. So that the store owners can focus on what they are best at - building relationships and serving customers. Its stores have access to economies of scale that provide a far better value than other traditional retail stores in the locality.

“We have shown fourfold growth in sale volume in our early stores and this resulted in a huge improvement in take-home incomes of retailers who took up our franchise. We have added over 20 stores to our network and have served over 40,000 families in the past year with a positive contribution margin and are on track to reach more than 70 stores with an annual GMV of  $10 million by the end of 2021,” said Anil Thontepu, co-founder, SuperK.

Grocery retail is a $600 billion market in India and small towns (tier-II and below) account for 80 per cent of the grocery market but only 2 per cent is currently with organized retail chains. The existing organized retail models are built for the metros and can’t scale deep into the semi-urban and rural markets. Due to this, even today small-town customers have to primarily depend on the age-old wholesale mandis and kirana stores of these towns and thus end up with a subpar grocery buying experience that is far removed from the modern retail experience the rest of us enjoy in cities.