D2C cigarette brand Hash has raised close to US$ 3.5 Mn (INR 25 Cr) in a recently concluded angel round. The round, that was led by Amrac Investment Trust, also saw participation by marquee angels such as Cred founder Kunal Shah, Jupiter founder Jitendra Gupta, BharatPe cofounder Ashneer Grover, Bira91 founder Ankur Jain, MagicPin cofounder Anshoo Sharma and BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer.
Founded in 2021 by Shwetank Jain, Hash is not only working towards helping digitise the businesses of paanwalas and small shop owners, but also build a supply chain and enable credit access to this segment, thereby boosting sales of its own brand, and other new age brands in the country.
Speaking on the fund raise, Shwetank Jain, founder, Hash, said “Tobacco industry has a set of traditional players and aged brands. There is a large addressable market for freshly envisioned products targeted at millennials and distributed efficiently using technology. Also, there is urgent need to equip the millions of unorganized sellers and paanwalas with the latest technology solutions, so as to aid in their business growth and efficiency.”
Kapil Chugh, fund promoter, Amrac Investment Trust further added, “Hash has the potential to do to tobacco what BIRA did to the alcobev industry. The interesting challenge is not only to introduce millennial first products, but at the same time change the way the product is distributed to lakhs of paanwaalas by disrupting the supply chain using technology.”
Currently Hash is looking to build a team of over 500 professionals across levels, including feet on street sales force, by the end of the current financial year. Additionally, the Delhi based startup will be expanding to other key cities in North India in the current fiscal year.
According to a statement from the company, in just 3 months of operation, Hash has built a network of 1,000 small shop owners and paanwalas. It will now build mobile based apps for smarter supply chain and business growth.
Supply chain management has been extended to various sectors today such as healthtech, agritech, and now even the tobacco industry. In the agritech sector, startups such as RuralBasket and AgriBazaar cater towards the supply chain inefficiencies, while in the healthcare sector, startups like Akna Medical and Meddo solve this issue
D2C startups have lately received larger investor attention. According to Inc42 Plus’ latest funding data, in the quarter of the year ended March 2021 (Q1 2021), D2C startups raised $142 Mn, which was 27% of the total funding for ecommerce startups. More importantly, between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, the funding amount for D2C startups has registered a 93% average quarterly growth.