[Funding Alert] Kirana King Raises INR 7 Cr In Pre-Series A Round From RVCF The corporation aims to expand its operations in various parts of Rajasthan where it targets of achieving 1000 stores by the end of 2021

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Kirana King, a unit of Kirana King Retail Network Pvt Limited has raised INR 7 crore from Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund (RVCF) in a pre-Series A round, said the Jaipur-based firm.

The company started its retail aggregation operations in 2017 and has a grocery retail network of more than 200 stores in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The company is aiming to achieve 4 times revenue growth during the ongoing financial year in comparison to the last year.

"We defined the problem statement at the brainstorming level of our idea of Kirana King in two words-empowerment and change, as most of the dynamic and revolutionary products or services across the globe have been driven either through empowerment or change, we went into detail study of the missing links that had been acting as severe bottlenecks in grocery retail ecosystem in India," states Kirana King founder and chief executive officer Anup Kumar. "Our thoughts were trying to break into the reasons of a very slow pace growth of grocery retail in India while the other emerging economies around us like in the Middle East or South-East Asia region had been witnessing a surge in convenience store format."

The grocery retail aggregator provides a range of Services to conventional kirana stores through its dynamo of RaaS (retail as a service) which is a combination of store transformation, enhanced and convenient store layouts, supply chain and marketing of these store among consumers to drive more footfalls, digital solutions, e-commerce stack, and training and development of kirana ecosystem to empower store owners.

"Our research concluded that requisite empowerment to the conventional kirana stores was just not enough, the entire value chain of kirana retail is fragmented to a large extent with services in bits and pieces leading to the resistance for the change as well, although it seems to be a behavioral aspect but when I went to the various part of India and visited thousands of kirana stores myself. One thing was crystal clear to me there is no problem when it comes to the resources available to the kirana stores but there was a lack of comprehension platform which can act as a Single window service to this massive sector of grocery retail. We need to psychologically align our beliefs with that of the kirana Store owners," Kumar further added.

RaaS model impacts the core journey touchpoints of grocery consumers when they shop at their local neighborhood stores and they soon realize the massive changes in operations and convenience at these stores which are the foremost drivers in this format and something which was missing from the Indian grocery retail ecosystem all this while. This also further proves the receptivity of their concept and the buy-in of the conventional store owners of their operating philosophy.

Kumar has witnessed and seen the grocery retail revolutions from close quarters in the Middle East and South-East Asia as an Entrepreneur said, "Once Kirana King started with its RaaS-based interventions, the resistance levels of kirana store owners went down and the brand witnessed queries from store owners from the far-flung corners of India who wish to join the network of brand Kirana King. Kirana King seeks to use the recently raised funds to expand its retail network, manpower, enhancement, and development of technology."

"India has been witnessing substantial changes and developments in the field of kirana or grocery retail. There are not only certain large corporate houses eying the space but also the emergence of few strong regional players like Kirana King who are backed with huge on the ground experience, the advantage of technology, evolved business process very specific to kirana retailing, the alignment of their thought process with the neighborhood kirana store owners and creating value for all the stakeholders involved in Grocery Retail ecosystem. For an early-stage investor like us, Kirana King looks very promising with its RaaS USP. We are very excited to join Kirana King at this stage of their massive expansion," said RVCF vice president Gaurav Chowdhry.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

Former Staff

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