Apnaklub, a B2B wholesale platform for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), has proclaimed it has raised US$3.5 million in a seed round from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, getting the total funds raised so far to US$5 million. Apnaklub connects India’s retailers, such as Kirana and general stores in semi-urban and rural areas, to a broad array of consumer goods and brands via its network of digitally connected wholesale partners.
Kirana stores are small neighborhood shops in India that supply essentials for rural communities, like daily household necessities, snacks, sanitary products, and tobacco. A 2020 report by Accenture estimated that by this year, 13 million Kirana shops across India would account for 75% of the total retail industry.
Nevertheless, Kirana owners are often incapable to get a minimum quantity or purchase amount to purchase from distributors, who in turn are constrained by the capital required to deploy goods to these areas. This leaves many of these retailers with a restricted assortment of goods to
stock in their neighborhood stores.
Apnaklub addresses the gap by connecting wholesale agents to offer Kirana stores with a wider range of SKUs, no minimum order quantity, and competitive prices. Apnaklub’s network of agent partners supports collect demand from their surrounding Kirana stores, aggregate them, and place an order on the app. Apnaklub then delivers the goods to the collaborator, who then distributes them to the stores.
“With Apnaklub, we are providing wholesalers across the country with an organized supply infrastructure and digital tools to cater to the hyper-local needs of shopkeepers and large families around them. This funding will enable us to expand across more rural areas in India as well as increase our range of services and products for our partners,” said Manish Kumar, Chief Operating Officer of Apnaklub. As per the 2020 report by Accenture, the digital transformation of just 10% of the 13 million kirana stores in the country could boost retail consumption by more than 5% and generate about 3.2 million new jobs.
Apnaklub’s innovative, agent-led solution known as the Apnaklub Partner Program at present includes the participation of over 5,000 wholesalers and counting. Partners are offered with personalized training and assist to create sustainable wholesale businesses for themselves, while also earning a commission on each order they fulfil. The startup also has plans to layer other services onto its network, such as offering pricing and market intelligence data to small and large brands alike.
“At Apnaklub, we’re going beyond providing an organized supply of FMCG goods to semi-urban and rural areas. Our mission is to equip people across India with the means to set up their own hyper-local micro-distribution businesses, by providing them with better profit margins, access to a large assortment of brands, and ensuring supply consistency. We’re empowering people to take charge of their livelihoods,” stated Shruti, Founder, and CEO of Apnaklub.