India’s 1st WEcommerce, Frendy, has raised a $2 million bridge round to expand its network of digitally connected convenience stores for smaller towns and rural India. Apurva Solapur family office, seasoned investor Desai Ventures, Priya Joseph, Rohan and Rishabh Jain, founders of The Wellness Co., Auxano Capital, AT Capital Singapore, and Metara Ventures lead Frendy’s current funding round.
The raised funds will be put toward growing the storefronts, private label product line, and technology offering.
“Frendy’s experienced founders have consistently focussed on capital efficiency and measured growth and are forecasting to achieve an ARR ₹300 Crores in revenue and profitability in the next 24 months by focussing on growing in its current geographies and using density to build a strong cost moat,” the company said in a statement.
“In value retail, density & cost is the strongest moats. Our mantra is to build profitable, sustainable, scalable model. The market is large, and we will scale when it’s right. If you keep prices of essentials low, you customers trust you and you earn back via their entire basket spend in your store,” said Joshi.
Speaking about its digital network, Vishwakarma, stated, “Tech is the backbone that allows the supply chain to work from the hubs to the spoke micro stores & the digital app used by customers. Our goal is to make the tech platform simple & frictionless for the stakeholder. Secondly to make retail processes more efficient with data-based demand forecasting, auto-replenishment, data-based pricing benchmarking. Finally, to use tech to empower our Franchisees to enhance their business with WhatsApp based community engagement & marketing tools. We enable the Mart & micro store franchisees to use AI-based tools to create & share marketing & merchandising collaterals that are at par with the large print ads taken out by the country’s largest retailers”.
Commenting on the company’s progress & plans, Gandotra said “We spent the first 2 years to build out our micro store thesis and achieved very strong PMF. In our 2nd phase we are going asset & operations light with our Franchised Marts doubling up as a warehouse for our existing micro stores and in parallel have scaled down our Central warehouse. Our goal for the coming 12 months is to have 40 operational Marts and further build out our private label offering. We have now perfected our business model and will continue to grow with right unit economics and scale out the model to the rest of Gujarat & then into other states.”
Frendy was launched in 2020 to unlock the massive, unlocked potential of the 9 out of 10 women in Tier 2–6 towns in India, who are unable to find work. Frendy is uniquely well-positioned to successfully bring digital commerce to underserved local communities throughout India, enabled by a logistical model that is tailored to address the complex last-mile challenges of smaller towns in the country. Having started with groceries and household items, Frendy and its Partners are well on their way to build a powerful distribution model to smaller towns in India.