Mumbai-based online grocery retail store LocalBanya.com has closed a fresh round of funding from Shrem Strategies, which it will use for expansion to Pune, a company release today said. After making a soft launch in Pune, the company commenced full operations in the city from mid-February.
This newspaper had reported in January, quoting sources, that the e-tailer was in talks to raise fresh funds and is likely to close the round by March. While the company did not disclose the quantum of funds raised in this round, sources had said that it would be a "significantly large" round of around $15 million-$20 million.
Founded in 2012, LocalBanya.com had last raised funds in January 2014, when it received an investment of $5 million from Mumbai-based realty development group Karmvir Avant Group. In 2013, LocalBanya.com had raised an undisclosed amount of investment form Bennett Coleman & Company Limited' Springboard fund. Prior to this, the company had also received angel funding from a few investors.
"The launch of our services in Pune coupled with a fresh round of funding, sets us on our way to the next phase of our vision, which is to take our brand to as many Indian households as possible," said LocalBanya co-founder Rashi Choudhary. "We have gained a lot of experience here in Mumbai and feel this is the right time to expand our operations. If all goes well, we hope to be in four-five additional metros very shortly."
LocalBanya.com had been talking about raising more funds since September 2014, as the company has been looking to expand its presence outside Mumbai and also to compete with players like the well-funded BigBasket.com. According to a senior company source, LocalBanya.com has set a target of expanding to seven cities within 2015, starting with Pune. The other cities that are part of the expansion plan, include, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.
The existing investors in LocalBanya.com include Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd's Springboard, and Karmvir Avant Infotech Pvt Ltd.
"Localbanya is one of the established players in the online grocery segment in Mumbai having been in operation for close to three years. They have put in place an aggressive expansion plan for 2015 to take the brand across India," said Nitan Chatwal, promoter of Shrem Strategies. "The online grocery market is set to grow very rapidly in India over the coming years and we felt now is a good time to get in."
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