Farm-to-home grocery venture RuralBasket has raised $5 Mn funding from Nativelead Foundation to kick start its expansion plans in Tamil Nadu.
The company is looking to expand its footprint across the state by scaling its operations to 22 retail outlets by 2022. While announcing the fundraise, it also announced the launch of its third store in Chennai.
RuralBasket is looking to be a one-stop-shop that offers natural products by cutting down middlemen, CEO Palani Rajan said. Meanwhile, the company’s COO Issac Devaraj added that the funding will impact the farmers RuralBasket works with and help build 10,000 ruralpreneurs.
Founded in 2019 by Rajan and Devaraj, RuralBasket is a farm-to-home offline and online grocery venture based out of Tirunelveli. It connects farmers and farmer producer organisations with customers.
The company claims that its solutions double farmer income while proving natural, safe and healthy food to customers at market price. It currently works with 15 farmer producer organisations and 50 women self-help groups.
RuralBasket’s outlet houses more than 500 products such as millets, grocery and staples, homemade readymade mixes, home essentials, beauty care and native snacks. The company claims that all its products are naturally grown, pesticide-free and directly sourced.
The agri supply chain startup RuralBasket competes with Chennai-based WayCool and Bengaluru-based Ninjacart. WayCool was founded by Karthik Jayaraman and Sanjay Dasari back in July 2015, whereas Ninjacart was founded in May 2015 by Thirukumaran Nagarajan, Sharath Loganathan, Sachin Jose, Kartheeswaran KK and Vasudevan Chinnathambi.
WayCool has raised about $70.6 Mn from investors like Netherland development finance company FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank, Lightbox, LGT Lightstone, Sakal Media Group and Aspada. It last raised $5.5 Mn in debt financing through US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) through IndusInd Bank’s impact investment division.
Ninjacart has raised about $194.2 Mn from investors like Accel, Trifecta Capital, NRJN Trust, Syngenta Ventures, and Tiger Global Management. It last raised funding from Flipkart and US-based retail giant Walmart in October 2020.
According to the Inc42 Plus report, the agritech startups raised $244.59 Mn in 2019, representing an increase of over 350% from the previous year. Some of the startups in this domain are AgNext, Aquaconnect, Fasal, Intello Labs and others.