ReshaMandi, a B2B ecommerce marketplace and supply chain management platform for silk has raised $30 Mn in Series A funding round led by Creation Investments.
The equity funding came from 9 Unicorns, Venture Catalysts, Sandeep Singhal from Nexus, Brijesh Agarwal, founder of IndiaMART, and Omnivore.
The Bengaluru-based startup was founded in 2019 by NIFT graduate Mayank Tiwari, former techie Saurabh Agarwal, and IIT graduate Utkarsh Apoorva. It uses proprietary AI and IoT technologies to manage the silk supply chain.
The company provides a full-stack ‘farm to fashion’ service, interacting with different parts of the supply chain at all levels. Starting from the farmers, it uses AI and IoT technologies to improve moriculture and sericulture yields.
After that, it uses scientific grading of cocoons to fairly price the raw product and make procurement easier for silk reelers. With AI-led yarn grading and linkages, ReshaMandi assures cost-effective procurement of yarn for the weavers.
Retailers and other businesses can then source the woven product, being assured of its source, quality and sustainability. ReshaMandi charges a small commission for each transaction in the chain.
The startup positions itself as a grassroots level enabler that works directly with sericulture farmers, fabric weavers, silk reelers, and retailers. As of today, the startup works closely with 25,000 farmers, 1500 reeling plants and 1000 weaving units; helping them sell over INR 15 Cr worth of cotton.
Silk is a perishable commodity and the cocoon of the silkworms cannot be stored without degradation. Often, sericulture farmers are forced to travel up to 400 km to sell their products. ReshaMandi uses its technology to ascertain the quality of the silk and price it. The farmers can then sell their products on ReshaMandi’s platform.
The startup had earlier raised $1.7 Mn in seed funding in March 2021.
The fresh capital infusion will be used to increase market reach. ReshaMandi’s team currently has about 160 members, which the CEO says will reach a size of 400 by March next year.
“India is the second-largest silk producer in the world, and China produces many times as much as India. We want to change that”, said Mayank Tiwari, CEO of ReshaMandi, in an interview with Inc42.
He also went on to speak about how the startup is developing a financing program for farmers, so that they can invest in IoT and other technologies for their farms.
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, India had an annual silk production of 23,679 MT in 2012-13 and has the distinction of being the only country that produces all five kinds of silk in the world.
Sericulture employs over 700,000 farm families and is mostly concentrated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where ReshaMandi conducts a majority of its operations.