Axiata Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian telecommunications conglomerate Axiata Group Berhad, has invested $16 million in Bengaluru-based StoreKing, an assisted rural commerce startup run by LocalCube Commerce Pvt Ltd.
With the newly raised capital, Storeking plans to start moving towards its goal of reaching 100,000 retailers by 2017 and 250,000 retailers by 2019. With major presence in South India, the company is now looking to expand its service across the country, filling a gap in the market for online commerce which large players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon do not address.
StoreKing, founded by Sridhar Gundaiah in 2012, partners with local retailers by setting up kiosks, which displays StoreKing’s inventory to consumers visiting the stores.
With presence in 1,200 towns, StoreKing enables rural retailers to sell over 50,000 products to walk-in customers via its digital kiosks. The tablet in the kiosk is a gateway for both shopkeepers and their customers in small towns and villages to buy products not available locally. After an order is placed and the payment made, the company dispatches the package to the retailer in 24 hours to 48 hours.
“From the beginning our goal was to help thousands of small businesses in rural India achieve a brighter future by enabling them to use technology. We hope to benefit from Axiata’s experience in extensive geography-based services and we couldn’t thank them enough for investing in the idea of StoreKing,” said Chief executive, StoreKing, Sridhar Gundaiah.
It had raised $6 million from Mangrove Capital Partners in March last year. The company aims to tap 100,000 retailers by 2017.
“StoreKing has created a platform that solves the fundamental constraints in our markets with last mile logistics and payments, while building trust amongst mass market consumers. It is pivotal in bringing the rest of our consumers into the digital sphere,” said Chief Executive, Axiata Digital, Mohd Khairil Abdullah.
Earlier this week, StoreKing partnered with Amazon India to accelerate Amazon’s penetration into rural India.