Bengaluru: SnapBizz Cloudtech Pvt. Ltd, which counts chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd Ratan Tata as one of its investors, is taking its services to Southeast Asia and Africa this year and will look at expanding to other geographies gradually.
The company helps create an e-commerce presence for local round-the-corner grocery shops or kirana stores, aids them in managing their supply chain and also provides predictive analytical solutions to bigger organized retail brands.
It is currently present in 2,000 kirana stores in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Surat.
“We are getting a lot of inbound enquiries from the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Africa. Africa has placed an order for about 1,500 stores,” said Prem Kumar, founder and chief executive officer of SnapBizz.
It plans to venture into the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Africa this year. Within Africa, the company is looking at Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana, to begin with.
Market constructs in those southeast Asian and African countries are very similar, and the company’s current distributors are already located in the regions and are positioned in between organized retailers and local corner shops, said Kumar.
The company began in 2013 with seed funding of $1.7 million from Qualcomm Inc., Jungle Ventures, National Research Foundation of Singapore, Taurus Value Creation and Blume Ventures.
It raised another $7.2 million in a round led by Jungle Ventures, Taurus Value Creation, Klony Venture and Blume Ventures last January and an undisclosed amount from Ratan Tata in February last.
It is investing $6 million this year, mostly on expanding within India and to new countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. The remaining investment will go into ramping up its technology and analytics platforms.
SnapBizz is also in the process of entering Ahmedabad and expects its store count in India to grow to about 15,000-20,000 by the end of this year.
“The whole strategy is about going into any town and capturing the stores which account for 30-50% of the consumer off-take of that town. We’ll add another 500 stores a month in the first half and scale it up to 1,000 stores per month in the second half of the year,” said Kumar.
The company earns its revenue from big brands by providing them with a consumer engagement platform for visibility in kirana stores via TV screens or tablets placed in these shops. It also sells analytics to branded organized retailers for either a subscription fee or a one-time fee for special reports.