Mumbai-based Peel-Works, which is a SaaS platform for grocery stores and corner shops, has raised $5 Mn in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Equanimity Investments (Ventures), along with HDFC Bank, Bruno Raschle and existing investors Unilever Ventures, Chiratae Ventures and Inventus Capital India.
The funding will help Peel-Works strengthen its retail management platform Taikee. Taikee will utilise these funds to expand its footprint to other geographical markets. The funds will also help the company expand business across 25 cities and onboard 100K retailers over the next six to twelve months.
Founded in 2010 by Sachin Chhabra and Nidhi Ramachandran, Peel-Works is a Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and a big data platform, that provides end-to-end services to small to medium-sized shopkeepers. Prior to this round, the company has raised $2 Mn in multiple funding rounds.
Peel-Works: Reaching Shopkeepers Through Taikee
Peel-Works’ SaaS platform, Taikee, is designed to help the 12 Mn small independent shops with its data-driven inventory and replenishment platform.
Taikee enables retailers to discover brands at low prices and is live in more than 16 cities. The company claims that over 20K retailers use its platform to improve sales, basket-fill and profitability.
The SaaS product leverages partnerships in procurement, fulfilment and logistics. Peel-Works’ monetisation is based on the commission charged on the gross merchandise volume (GMV) per store. The company also has a monthly subscription service to consumer companies wherein it provides analytics and data about consumer behaviour in relation to the products.
The product is available across Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Pune, Mysore and Chennai.
Sachin Chhabra, founder and CEO, Peel Works said, “We are extremely bullish about our growth plans in the country this year.This fresh round of funds will help us deepen and expand our business and offerings to a larger number of pincodes. We believe they will play a valuable role in helping the company widen its service/ product offerings and build out its fintech capabilities.”
Talking to Inc42 earlier, Chhabra disclosed that close to 70% of Peel-Works’ partner stores use its services to order every month and the company is looking to hit close to $1 Bn GMV run rate by the end of the current financial year.
Rajesh Sehgal, CFA, managing partner, Equanimity Investments said, “Equanimity is pleased to support Peel-Works in its endeavour to support brick and mortar corner stores with technology that makes their businesses more efficient and profitable. Corner stores remain the soul of Indian retail and Peel-Works’ retail management platform helps reinvigorate it.”
Rakesh Singh, Group Head-Investment Banking, Private Banking, Capital Markets and Financial Institutions, HDFC Bank said that Peel-Works, with their data-driven/ tech-led approach, complements HDFC Bank’s focus on delivering value to Indian retailers with digital solutions and banking services.
The Growth Of Mom-and-Pop Stores In India
RedSeer Consulting says that out of India’s over $500 Bn grocery market, a mere 0.2% is online, of which $1.2 Bn is the overall online market and about $1 Bn is only hyperlocal grocery. India is estimated to have over 12 Mn Kirana stores and this number is estimated to continue growing.
Chhabra had told Inc42 that the only successful model for grocery to get digitised is when retailers are trained to go online themselves. According to him, the real impact in this segment, which is a very large employment generator, is going to be led by the small guys.
“For us to change the way groceries are sold in India, we need to see players sell at least $150 Bn worth of groceries in the country through a channel that is not a traditional small shop,” Chhabra said.
As per a Boston Consulting Group and Retailers Association of India (RAI) report, titled ‘Retail 2020: Retrospect, Reinvent, Rewrite’, the retail market is expected to nearly double in five years, touching $1 Tn by 2020.