Rural commerce startup 1Bridge raises $2.5M pre-Series A funding

1Bridge, a Bengaluru-based last-mile supply chain and distribution network focused on rural India, today announced it has $2.5 million in pre-series A funding round.

The funding round was led by C4D Partners, a Netherlands-based impact investor who has been a long-term supporter of the company and angel investor Prashanth Boccasam. Through a secondary deal, C4D Partners and Prashanth Boccasam purchased the additional ownership, allowing a few early stockholders to exit.

The round also saw participation from new investors KAAJ Ventures and angel investors like Prashanth Prakash, founding partner, Accel Partners; Puneet Jetli, technopreneur and co-founder, Happiest Minds and Aradhana D Chatterjee, a seasoned PE/VC executive.

Furthermore, Ananya Finance for Inclusive Growth, an Ahmedabad-based non-banking financial firm (NBFC) that works with a significant number of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and grassroots organisations, has provided 1Bridge with its first working capital facility.

“We thank our investors for believing in 1Bridge’s vision of bridging aspirations, creating opportunities, ushering abundance to Rural India. With this investment, we aim to expand the network, strengthen our technology and data capabilities, roll-out 1Bridge Experience Zones at the Taluk-level and expand our partnerships for last-mile supply chain & distribution – while pursuing profitable growth,” said social entrepreneur and founder and chief executive officer, Madan Padaki, 1Bridge.

According to the startup, The raised funding will be used to grow the supply chain network and experience centers over the next 1.5 years. With strategic alliances, 1Bridge hopes to expand its product offerings to include consumer durables brands, as well as fintech and finance goods, it said.

The rural tech supply chain startup will also improve its tech platform, which will provide rural outreach and assistance to local microbusinesses.

1Bridge, founded by Madan Padaki, Anil Kumar, and M Chakrawarty in May 2016, is a rural commerce platform that delivers products and digital services to village residents’ doorsteps. It collaborates with local rural entrepreneurs, known as “1Bridge Advisors,” to help with last-mile product and service delivery.

1Bridge claims to have expanded at a rate of over 75% year over year since its establishment. It also reported that it achieved EBITDA profitability in FY20-21, with revenue of over INR 52 crore. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha are among the states where it has established a foothold.

Earlier, the company has raised $1.5 million in an angel round from notable investors like Ronnie Screwvala, Eruditus founders Ashwin Damera and Chaitanya, Manipal group chairman Dr Ranjan Pai, and Conzerv cofounder Hema Hattangady.

Till date, 1Bridge has onboarded over 10,000 strong entrepreneurial networks, completed 35 million transactions for rural customers, and directly served 1.5 million village consumers.

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