Frendy, a startup building a digitally connected convenience store network in smaller towns and rural India, has raised $2 million in a bridge funding round led by Auxano Capital, AT Capital Singapore, Metara Ventures, founders of The Wellness Co, Priya Joseph, Rohan Jain, Rishabh Jain, Apurva Solapur family office, and existing investor Desai Ventures. .
According to reports, The startup may increase this amount to $3 million through a follow-on rights issue.
What is the purpose of fundraising?
The newly raised capital will expand Frendy's tech offerings, private label product portfolio, and store network. The startup aims to have 40 operational Marts and enhance its private label range in the next 12 months.
The startup's technology platform focuses on making retail processes efficient and empowering franchisees with AI-based tools for marketing and community engagement.
Serving 50,000 customers
Since its inception in 2019 by Sameer Gandotra, Gowrav Vishwakarma, and Harshad Joshi, Frendy claims to have doubled its revenue to Rs 82 Crores in FY23 from Rs 40 Crores in FY22. Frendy operates in over 40 Tier 2-6 towns in Gujarat, serving 50,000 customers with a range of over 4,500 products.
What's unique about Frendy?
Frendy's business model is centred around franchised Frendy Marts and Frendy Micro stores. Frendy Marts are self-serve stores offering 1,000 to 2,000 products, while Micro stores, run by family-owned kiranas and housewives, carry around 100 SKUs.
The startup's digital app facilitates additional orders, making each micro store a last-mile distribution point. According to the startup, the model leverages existing micro-stores, providing a distribution model with high reach and trust.
Targeting ARR of Rs 300 crore
The startup said it aims to reach an annual recurring revenue of Rs 300 crore and profitability in the next 24 months. It plans to scale its model across Gujarat and then to other states, focusing on profitable and sustainable growth.
In the competitive retail tech market, Frendy stands out with its unique micro store plug-in and focus on private labels, competing with ventures like New Shop, 1K Kirana, and others in India's rapidly growing grocery market.
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