m.Paani Raises $5.5 Million In Series A Funding

Billion is just another number in India – be it Flipkart’s Big Billion Days, our population or the $670 billion unorganised retail store market that is just waiting to be tapped.

m.Paani, a Mumbai-based start-up secures $5.5 million in Series A funding. Backed by previous Pre-Series A investors like Blume Ventures and formerly IDG Ventures, Chiratae Ventures now (raised $1.5 million in 2017), m.Paani entered into a collaboration with new investors like Candy Ventures, Ryu Sulaiwan, AC Ventures, Kevin Aluwi (co-founder of Gojek, an Indonesian ride-hailing company) among others. “We also see huge potential for them to empower local retailers beyond India”, commented Aluwi.  

Established in 2014, the start-up functions in the same way Amazon or Flipkart does but instead of promoting international brands or foreign goods, they endorse the ‘Kiranas’. m.Paani’s intervention has benefited thousands of local retailers. The Indian Kirana shops are largely unorganised and m.Paani helps bring all the Kiranas together under one platform where buyers meet sellers.

The local retail stores hold 90% of the total consumer goods in India, companies like the Hindustan Unilever make use of advertisements to connect and promote the stores with people near them. m.Paani claims that 86% of Indians prefer shopping in the vicinity of their homes (in a radius of 3 – 4 km) and the majority of them still shop at the local stores.
m.Paani makes great use of smartphone technologies. The majority of interactions between the buyer and seller happens through this medium. They have a personalised app and they advertise/promote products and offers through digital streams like email and SMS. 

Its unique loyalty programme is one of it’s biggest reasons for success. It awards points to the user against the purchases made in one of their partner stores (Kirana). The points can be used in fields such as safe drinking water, safe energy, education, etc. The retail partners are subject to loyalty rewards too. Users can redeem the points as payments in the Kirana stores or they can choose from more than 1,00,000 gifts in digital as well as in physical form, provided by m.Paani. 

m.Paani hopes to digitise and organise the local/neighbourhood retail marketing scene so that these stores can prosper in PM Modi’s India 2.0. It has over 50,000 partners at present. 

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