The funding round, which was a mix of equity and debt, was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Anicut Capital
While Lightspeed funded 80% of the total amount in exchange of equity, Anicut Capital had a 20% contribution to the round in equity and debt
Wheelocity, founded in September 2021, enables procurement and distribution of fresh produce for B2C and B2B players such as Dunzo, Swiggy Instamart
Wheelocity, a supply chain network enabler for fresh products, has raised $12 Mn in its Series A funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Anicut Capital. The round was a combination of equity and venture debt.
While Lightspeed funded 80% of the total amount in exchange of equity, Anicut Capital had a 20% contribution to the round in equity and debt.
Wheelocity founder and CEO Selvam VMS said that the startup will use the fresh funds in three broad areas — building more on the tech stack, expanding areas of business operation, and building its farm-side network.
“We are investing very heavily on technology, so we are building our team massively. Also, farm-side network is going to be a very extensive network, which again is going to call for us to expand deeper into the country,” Selvam told Inc42. He added that currently the startup’s offerings are restricted to fruits and vegetables, and the funds would help Wheelocity foray into other areas of fresh produce as well.
Wheelocity, founded by Selvam in September 2021, aims to solve the supply chain problems for fresh commerce in India.
It enables procurement and distribution of fresh produce for B2C and B2B players such as Dunzo, Swiggy Instamart, Zepto, Blinkit, Ninjacart, Zomato Hyperpure, among others, with the help of its tech stack and supply chain network.
Wheelocity works in three modules. The farm-side procurement involves sorting, grading, and lotting after produce is collected from the farmers. On the city-side infrastructure, there are fulfilment and distribution centres, dark stores to sort, grade, lot, and convert the products into smaller consumer packets. The third module involves last mile delivery to end consumers, especially in the case of ecommerce platforms.
With the fresh funds, Wheelocity would now look to enter other categories of fresh produce — meat and poultry, fish and seafood, bread and eggs, milk and dairy. While the startup currently handles 700 metric tonnes of produce every day across its network, which is present in 12 cities including Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai, it aims to handle 1,500 metric tonnes of produce every day by the end of 2022.
Fresh produce across categories is perishable in nature, with a shelf life ranging between one to two days, and a maximum of 10 days. According to Selvam, the supply chain network and the technology stack required to support the supply chain for handling such products are very different from FMCG or grocery supply chains.
“Traditionally, India has been running its fresh supply chain also on a model that is similar to FMCG or grocery supply chain and that’s the reason why we see India as a country lose a very large portion of our harvest to wastages, especially in the fresh produce. That’s the exact problem we are solving,” Selvam said.
The quick commerce space in India is seeing an intense competition between the likes of Swiggy, Reliance-backded Dunzo, among others. Last month, Ola said it would shut down its quick commerce business Ola Dash. Meanwhile, foodtech startup Zomato made its foray into the space by acquiring quick commerce startup Blinkit for INR 4,447 Cr.
As per a report, the Indian online grocery market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.1% between 2021 and 2028, reaching $38.9 Bn by 2028, with staples and cooking essentials serving as the largest contributor, followed by breakfast & dairy and fresh produce.