Bengaluru-based rural commerce tech platform VilCart has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round led by Asia Impact SA, with participation from Nabventures Fund and Texterity Private Limited.
The startup plans to use the raised capital to expand its operations to include the entire South Indian region by 2024, introduce new products and support initiatives launched towards rural women entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2018 by Prasanna Kumar, Mahesh Bhat, Rajasekhar, and Amith S Mali, VilCart said it connects farmer producer organizations (FPO), brands, rural small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and manufacturers to kirana stores present in the villages through their supply chain and logistic facilities.
Apart from sourcing, logistics, technology, marketing, and branding partners of rural Kirana stores, The startup offers a local language mobile app for rural kirana stores and consumers.
The application’s AI/ML capabilities help kirana owners with inventory and credit management, among other services, it said.
It claims to have reached 85,000 Kirana stores in 30,000 villages, covering 29 districts in Karnataka and one in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, respectively