Frendy, a Social commerce startup has raised Rs 23 crore in a funding round from Marv Capital and Centera Fund, with participation from existing investor Desai Family Office and new investors via LetsVenture Angel Fund.
Many investors including Shalabh Mehrish ( Vinson Cap Advisors), Jon Piebenga (partner, Social Venture Partners) and Kunal Shah (founder, Cred) also participated in the round.
The startup plans to primarily use the funds for growth, expanding its team and meeting its working capital needs.
Founded in 2019 by Sameer Gandotra and Gowrav Vishwakarma, Frendy offers discounts on groceries and other daily necessities-related items through neighborhood homepreneurs in tier-to-tier six towns.
Presently, the company has a presence in around 25 Tier 2-6 cities and over 4,500 products and has recently forayed into Madhya Pradesh as well as Rajasthan.
“The company has achieved a revenue of Rs 43 crore in its very first year of operations with break-even unit economics. Frendy is clearly on track to reach an annualised revenue run rate of Rs 300 crore by the end of the financial year,” the company said in a statement.
The startup has recently hired several experienced industry stalwarts, including Harshad Joshi as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Shilpa Ajwani, former Managing Director of Tupperware India, as consulting advisors.
“Entrepreneurial frugality coupled with local knowledge and relationships have been the hallmarks of successful rural distribution businesses and Frendy has adopted this to scale quickly and sustainably with a low capital requirement”, said, Sameer Gandotra, cofounder of Frendy.
“What differentiates Frendy from other community group buying platforms is its Bharat-focussed team that has prior experience and success in building a microentrepreneur business with a capital-efficient execution model”, he added.
The startup said that it has an asset light franchised local distributor model which positions it well in tier 3-6 markets.
Frendy sells groceries, personal care and home and kitchen essentials on its platform. In December 2021, Frendy had raised Rs10 crore in Pre-Series A funding round from Pavitar Singh, Abhishek Khurana and the Desai family office.
Frendy – India’s 1st WEcommerce – a start-up for Bharat where they are reimagining the neighbourhood store – as a store by a neighbour – digital & virtual yet with the last-mile human touch of a local homepreneur. Frendy is part of India’s fast-growing Social Commerce industry, which is expected to touch US$ 70B by 2030. Frendy presently operates in 22 Tier 2-6 Towns of Gujarat State, using Frendy Partners to deliver products to value-seeking Bharat consumers. It will soon expand across India.
With grocery as the lead category, their aim is to build a virtual mall overtime for the Bharat Value customer. The entire operation is powered by their proprietary tech platform with interconnected Web Apps and real-time data exchange. The technology allows them to use entrepreneurial intermediaries in a supply chain. Their asset-light Franchise model will allow us to scale rapidly with limited capital investment and working capital.
They are expecting to reach an annualized run rate of 300 crores by the next financial year. Frendy is solving the biggest problem in extending e-commerce to Tier 3 and beyond towns in India – Trust, while also delivering bargains to the household. Frendy has started delivering enormous socio-economic impact among both its customers as well as its Partners. For the customers, Frendy is able to deliver large savings for grocery & household items that account for 50% of the household spend.
This is being delivered by women entrepreneurs who not only earn but also are empowered in mobilising their immediate community members. In 5 years, 500,000 such women will be empowered and would be reaching out to around 50 million households in their communities.