Investment to make m-commerce viable for lakhs (100,000’s) of small grocery and kirana stores across India
23 May 2014: Bangalore, India. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) announced an investment in Jiffstore, a Bangalore-based startup that is connecting local kirana stores to customers though a mobile app that offers online grocery ordering and home delivery. Jiffstore provides even the smallest kirana stores with an easy-to-use mobile-based order management platform to help engage their customers while increasing their sales. The company plans to use the new capital to further develop its technology platform and to significantly expand its customer base of small shops. This is Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)’s third m-commerce investment so far in 2014 following investments in mGaadi (m-commerce solution for ordering auto rickshaws) and Medypal (online marketplace for healthcare services).
|Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) Invests in Bangalore Company Jiffstore||Bangalore-based Jiffstore offers m-commerce platform to grocery retailers
|Taking kirana stores and super markets online via mCommerce: Jiffstore||Jiffstore Secures Funding From Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)
1.5 crore (15 million) Kirana Shop M-Commerce Opportunity in India
Based on growing consumer demand fueled by ever-decreasing smartphone costs, India’s organized retail sector has been rapidly adopting e-commerce and m-commerce, while small shops have been left behind due to lack of know-how, limited resources, and operational complexity. There are an estimated 1.5 crore (15 million) kirana stores and small shops that could benefit from m-commerce solutions in India.
“Retail in India is expected set to reach INR 45 lakhs crore ($US 750 billion) by 2015. Ninety two percent of the retail market is unorganized – mostly in small shops. We see a fantastic opportunity for a cost-effective m-commerce solution to automate these shops, help them compete, and delight their customers,” said Shameel Abdulla, CEO of Jiffstore.
A Simple, Pay-as-You-Go M-Commerce Solution for Small Shops – Available Now in Bangalore
Jiffstore is among the first m-commerce platforms to affordably enable small shop owners to build trusted relationships and to increase sales with their customers. Using an iOS or Android app, consumers can browse store items, make orders, and optionally have them delivered. The shop owner uses an Android app to interact with customers, manage inventory and other functions. The user interface is simple and easy-to-use, making consumer and merchant adoption very quick. Jiffstore is experimenting with multiple business models including pay-as-you-go fees linked to the amount of revenue driven by their platform. Jiffstore is riding the wave of affordable smartphones now available in India.
Jiffstore is already active in dozens of stores in Bangalore serving thousands of consumers since starting their pilot operations in October of 2013. They are seeing 30% month-over-month order growth rate and are looking to bring on many new stores in the coming months.
Team with experience from EMC2, Wipro, McKinsey, DHL
“Building a business to serve lakhs of kirana shops is no small task due to the requirement of maintaining an extremely low cost structure while scaling on-the-ground operations quickly,” said Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund). “The diverse experiences of the Jiffstore founding team and their proven ability to get customer traction quickly were key factors in our decision to make this investment.”
Jiffstore has already received recognition including selection as the winner of Nasscom 10000 startups in 2013 and awarded the best new Android app from India by Google Developer Group Bangalore. Currently Jiffstore is being mentored at TLabs, a startup accelerator-initiative by Times Internet.
Unitus Capital was the financial advisor and Impact Law Ventures was the legal advisor on this transaction, advising Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund).
Jiffstore Software Labs Pvt. Ltd. provides mobile apps that enable buyers to order household provisions from neighborhood mom-n-pop or “kirana” stores with home delivery. Jiffstore allows you to text your grocery order directly to your favorite local store while at work, home or wherever you are, from your mobile device. Consumer benefits range from easy on-the-go access, to push notification updating you about your order status, to a vast inventory of thousands of products to search from. Jiffstore was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Bangalore, India. More about Jiffstore >
About Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund)
Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is India’s most active seed impact investor, funding BoP startups that serve large low-income populations. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) plans to grow its portfolio of 12 companies with up to 20-25 more startups in sectors including skill development / livelihoods, agriculture, technology for development, healthcare, education, and access to basic necessities. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) is part of the Unitus Group, a successful financial services group operating in multiple emerging markets since 2000. Unitus Ventures (formerly Unitus Seed Fund) has offices in Bangalore and Seattle.