New Delhi | 17th February 2021: Express Stores, a branded omni-channel chain of Bharat’s kiranas, has raised seed funding of Rs 8 crore. The round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Venture Highway (founded by Neeraj Arora, ex-Whatsapp & Samir Sood, ex-Google) with participation of marquee individual investors – Kunal Bahl & Rohit Bansal (Snapdeal), Anupam Mittal (People Group) and Amit Singhal (Google) among others. The funds would be utilised for product-market fit, initial growth, talent addition, supply chain and technology. Founded in 2019 by Apoorv Jain (IIT Delhi) and Kartik Gupta (BITS Pilani), Express Stores aims to be the ‘The most preferred daily needs store for the neighbourhood’. The company has achieved product market fit with an unique, scalable, technologically driven and contribution margin positive business model.The founders of Express Stores have worked in leadership roles at Urban Company (formerly UrbanClap), Jabong, Lazada, Flyrobe, Wadi across India, Dubai and South-East Asian markets.
Commenting on the funding, Apoorv Jain, CEO & Co-Founder, Express Stores, said, “We believe the next big opportunity lies in the modernisation of kiranas, a segment which continues to be largely unorganised. Consumers need modern shopping experience in their neighbourhood while retailers need hassle-free, profitable business operations. Express Stores, with its 360-degree solution, aims to lead this change.”
In his comments, Samir Sood, Founder, Venture Highway, said, “We are excited to partner Express Stores as they represent the ambition of next-gen Indian founders solving for Bharat. Grocery is an overwhelmingly large market, and the most important thing for a startup in this space is to have a clear sight of positive unit economics. We are confident that Apoorv, Kartik and team are doing exactly that while scaling fast. Our goal at VH is to give back to our country’s early-stage ecosystem and we continue to be extremely excited about the quality of the current generation of entrepreneurs building large businesses out of India.”
Added Anupam Mittal, Founder, People Group,“Express Stores is tapping a massive retail opportunity and have mastered their GTM & playook over the last year. I’m delighted and proud to partner with the team, who have the right mix of experimentation, execution & excellence.”