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StoreKing raises $16M from Axiata Digital to expand retailer base

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Bangalore based StoreKing, an ecommerce platform which provides kiosks to offline retailers for its users to buy products from, has raised $16 million from Malaysian telecom company Axiata Digital, reports Mint. It plans to expand to 100,000 retailers by next year and 250,000 by 2019, as well as expand to Axiata’s markets in the future.

As of now, the company claims to have 16,000 mobile kiosks in south India across 1,200 towns and delivers 150,000 orders monthly. A YourStory report states that the retailers using StoreKing earn a 6-10% commission on the sales they make. The report adds that the comoany has 650 master franchises across Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Gujarat.

Previous funding: In February last year, StoreKing raised $6 million from Mangrove Capital Partners. At that time, the company claimed to be present in 600 stores across 190 cities and towns in Karnataka and saw 50,000 walkins at the store daily. It also claimed to have over 200,000 registered users who had placed orders, with plans to open stores in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, albeit without mentioning a timeline.

The company provides small retailers in Tier III and Tier IV towns a platform to sell their products through kiosks equipped with TV monitors and Android tablets. Shoppers can browse through products across categories like beauty and health, food and nutrition, sports and fitness, mobile and tablets, apparel and home and kitchen among other categories on offer at the kiosks installed in local stores, select a product they would like to buy, pay for it in cash, and then come back the next day to collect the product. StoreKing was founded by Sridhar Gundaiah in 2011.

Amazon tie up: Amazon India reportedly signed an exclusive partnership with StoreKing to expand its rural footprint in south India and increase its user base, according to a Mint report from earlier this week.

Amazon’s India investments: Earlier this week, after investing Rs 1,350 crore ($202.5 million) in its India operations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that a further $3 billion (about Rs 20,000 crore) would be invested in its India unit.

Recent studies on ecommerce:

– Cash-on-delivery (COD) was the most preferred method to pay for e-commerce purchases in January-March 2016, accounting for 70% of all transactions, according to a report by Sokrati that studied more than 1.4 million online ‘purchasers’ buying from over 100 online retailers.

– The gross merchandising value (GMV) of e-commerce industry will witness a four time increase and reach $60 billion by 2020, according to a study titled ‘Digital Retail 2020’, conducted by Google and A.T. Kearney. The report claims that online retail will contribute about 25% to the total organised retail sales by then.

– Online shoppers in metros like Mumbai and Bangalore are only ‘cautiously open’ with less than 35% preferring mobile transactions over other modes of payments, according to a study called ‘Mobile Consumer Journey – 2016’ carried out by Yahoo India and Mindshare. Note that the companies did not reveal the sample size of the study and we’d advise our readers to take this with a pinch of salt.

Image Credit: Renzilde under CC BY SA 3.0

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