The venture-capital arm of Indian industrial conglomerate RPG Group has invested $1 Mn in Pune-based Seniority, an ecommerce portal for senior citizens and elderly-care products.
RPG Enterprises, established in 1979, has more than eleven companies managing diverse business interests in areas that are few of the key drivers of the economy; namely of Power, Infrastructure, Tyre, IT, Pharmaceuticals, Hotels & Travel and Speciality. RPG Group holds tyre firm CEAT Tyres, information technology firm Zensar Technologies Ltd, etc.
Seniority was launched in July 2016 by Ayush Agrawal, Kanchan Tiwari and Tapan Mishra. It sells products for senior citizens, both medical-needs related and lifestyle products like hobby kits, etc.
Talking about the opportunity co-founder Ayush Agrawal said, “The market is huge and extremely underserved. The 60-plus demographic is the fastest growing. While people think of India as a young country, it is also rapidly ageing. The age group is increasingly Internet savvy and comfortable buying products online.”
The company claims to sell about 200-250 products per day. The ticket size of per day sales is about INR 1500. Seniority co-founder Tapan Mishra said that Seniority currently imports most of its 3,000 products. However, the company is planning to start a private label soon, and will manufacture some of the products in-house. The private label products will be sold on other ecommerce websites. Private label products will also open offline channels for the startup, once they are sold at hospitals, etc.
A recent report states that the investment was done by RPG Group in a bid to use RPG Ventures to incubate and build new businesses. Kunjan Chikhlikar, head at RPG Venture said, “The idea is basically that once we get to a certain size and scale, we would look to partner with other investors to build Seniority. It would be a typical financial investor who belongs in a traditional venture capital, private equity community.”
According to Population Census 2011 there were nearly 104 Mn elderly persons (aged 60 years or above) in India; 53 Mn females and 51 Mn males. The elder care industry in India is estimated to be about $3 Bn market opportunity, growing at a CAGR of 20%. Other startups in this space, apart from RPG Group-backed Seniority, that provide elderly care and services, products for senior citizens include Care24, Seniorworld, goodhands, etc.
(The development was reported by ET)