Jumbotail Raises USD 18.2 Million in Series C3 Funding Round Led By Artal Asia

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With technology impacting every corner of the world, the traditional Kirana stores that are the backbone of India’s retail landscape have started facing challenges like limited access to technology, intense competition from online platforms, and the inability to adapt to changing consumer preferences. Understanding this challenge, start-up Jumbotail set about to bridge this gap by helping to transform the traditional Kirana stores into modern, tech-enabled retail outlets by providing them with the tools, technology, and support needed to enhance their operations.

On its mission, B2B food and grocery marketplace Jumbotail has recently secured USD 18.2 million (approximately Rs 151 crore) in an extended Series C funding round led by Artal Asia, along with participation from internal and external investors including Heron Rock, Sabre Investment, Arkam Ventures, Jarvis Reserve Fund, Reaction Global, and VII Ventures.

“We are excited to see Jumbotail execute sustainable growth at scale, with a strong focus on profitability and capital efficiency,” said Benjamin Felt, Board Member of Jumbotail and Managing Director of Invus, the global advisor of Artal.

“Since Artal’s first investment in Jumbotail in 2021, Jumbotail has continued to demonstrate its differentiation and market leadership in the digital enablement of the Kirana ecosystem,” he said.

With the recent funding, the start-up has raised a total of USD 143 million in equity funding and USD 14 million in debt funding since its inception in 2015. Notably, this marks Artal Asia’s second investment in Jumbotail, following the infusion of USD 85 million from the firm in January 2021.

The company aims to utilize the fund to grow its market strategy, which will help it reach more customers and offer new services. This investment will also help Jumbotail reach its aim of hitting a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of 2,500 – 2,600 crore by the end of 2024, along with a 50% increase in their total revenues.

While Jumbotail primarily earns revenue from its successful online marketplace, the company is actively trying to diversify its income streams. Around 10-15% of its revenue comes from its private label brands, indicating a shift towards brand ownership and exclusivity. Additionally, Jumbotail is exploring more avenues like advertisements and its J24 model to further expand its revenue sources.

“Jumbotail is the fastest and capital-efficient way for brands to access over 100 million urban middle class consumers via the kirana stores. We will strengthen our leadership position by going deeper into our existing markets and by helping brands reach kiranas with the lowest total cost of activation and the fastest route to market in the sector,” said Ashish Jhina, Co-founder and COO Jumbotail.

He added, “We expect to be fully profitable on an operational basis across our entire network before the end of 2024. We are happy to see world class investors doubling down on our mission to transform India’s food and grocery retail ecosystem.”

Founded by Karthik Venkateswaran and Ashish Jhina, Jumbotail is a comprehensive wholesale and food grocery platform that offers a range of services tailored for Kirana stores. The platform provides full-stack services, like storefront delivery and payment collection for its sellers, and makes the operations for these small neighborhood stores simple.

The start-up also acts as a fintech platform, offering payment solutions and helping to gain access to working capital credit from third-party credit providers. In addition to its wholesale and fintech services, Jumbotail extends its support to mom-and-pop entrepreneurs through a retail-as-a-service model.

This model allows these entrepreneurs to run their convenience retail stores with ease. It helps provide a seamless and streamlined operational experience by combining Point of Sale (PoS) systems fully with its supply chain and fintech platform.

Over the past four years, Jumbotail has entered into partnerships with over 20,000 Kirana stores. Through their comprehensive services and innovative approach, Jumbotail continues to redefine the landscape of B2B food and grocery platforms, catering to the needs of Kirana stores and small retailers alike.

Ashish Jhina, whose family has been apple farmers for generations, and Karthik Venkateswaran, a former Major in the Indian Army, joined forces to create Jumbotail. They saw that small shops, like Kirana stores, had trouble getting good products at fair prices.

So, in 2015, they launched Jumbotail to change this. Their idea was to make it easy for these shops to buy directly from suppliers. They built a website where shops could order what they needed, cutting out middlemen and saving time and money. This not only helped the shops but also ensured customers got better quality groceries. Since then, Jumbotail has grown to become a valuable resource for many small businesses across India.

“There is no question of online grocery & big box retail replacing the Kirana store. The grocery market is small transactions done frequently by people from stores that are located in their neighborhood, which will continue to cater to essential services and that is the mass market”, believe the founders of Jumbotail.

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