3one4 Capital, Sprout Venture Partners back logistics and distribution startup Ripplr, Technology News, ETtech

Ripplr Co-founders Abhishek Nehru (L) & Santosh Dabke (R)
Ripplr Co-founders Abhishek Nehru (L) & Santosh Dabke (R)

Venture capital firms 3one4 Capital and Sprout Venture Partners have invested an undisclosed sum in Bengaluru-based startup Intelligent Retail, which owns and operates logistics and distribution platform Ripplr, the company announced on Friday.

While the terms of the seed-stage transaction were not disclosed, Ripplr, which was founded in mid-2019, will use the proceeds to strengthen its technology and infrastructure, in a bid to position itself as a reliable, cost-effective, capital-light and risk-free distribution platform, with strong tech and process-based backend, the company said in a prepared statement.

“Lower volumes of trade among newer brands, lack of adequate infrastructure and channels are primarily why logistics and distribution costs are significantly high – 13%-14% in India – in retail,” Abhishek Nehru, co-founder of Ripplr, said in the statement.

“The high distribution costs and limited availability of distributors make it an arduous journey for new-age brands to move into general trade, despite several products having high demand and market fit, thus limiting new brands to modern trade or e-retail,” he added.

The startup, founded by former Flipkart employee Nehru and former Reliance AMC executive Santosh Dabke, counts a mix of e-commerce and offline retail majors, such as Amazon, Udaan, Licious, Grofers, McDonalds and BigBasket, among its clientele.

“In Ripplr, we have been able to identify a low cost, platformised and scalable approach that allows new age consumer brands to discover distribution without requiring the organisational overhead,” Anurag Ramdasan, principal at 3one4 Capital, said in the company-issued note.

The startup offers its clients, which includes both, new-age and established brands, to latch on to a plug and play model, that claims to enable higher reach and visibility in the market, through its artificial intelligence and machine-learning-based distribution and logistics platform.

Ripplr has also expanded its presence across the country, having established its footprints in National Capital Region, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad, the press release stated. It claims to have clocked annual recurring revenue (ARR) of over Rs 12 crore over the last six months, and has projected crossing ARR of Rs 100 crore by December 2020.

While modern trade and e-retail cumulative hold about 20% of the Indian retail market, a majority continues to be dominated by the general trade segment. Despite the growth in e-commerce and digital payments over the last few years, industry experts expect the general trade category to continue dominating the pie.

“Ripplr addresses a major pain point in the supply chain, particularly for new-age brands, by providing end-to-end logistics support, using technology in an asset-light approach within the existing infrastructure. We see strong moat in terms of its technology to connect between all levels of logistics, distribution and retail intelligence,” Sahil Gupta, partner at Sprout Venture Partners, said.

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