Axiata Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian telecom conglomerate Axiata Group Berhad, has invested USD 16 million (about Rs 106 crore) in Bengaluru-based StoreKing. StoreKing is an assisted rural commerce startup, run by LocalCube Commerce. “From the beginning, our goal was to help thousands of small businesses in rural India to achieve a brighter future by enabling them to use technology. We hope to benefit from Axiata’s experience in extensive geography-based services and we couldn’t thank them enough for investing in the idea of StoreKing,” CEO of StoreKing Sridhar Gundaiah said.
With the newly raised capital, Storeking plans to start moving towards its goal of reaching 1,00,000 retailers by 2017. Storeking has tied-up with shopkeepers in rural India, who use a tablet to assist local customers to buy online. The shopkeeper handles the cash, deposits online while Storeking delivers the product, which can then be collected by the buyer from the same store. It currently has 16,000 kiosks spread in smaller towns of south and west India. It fulfils 1,50,000 orders every month with a base of one million users.
The company is looking to fill a gap in the market for online commerce which large players such as Flipkart and Snapdeal do not address. “Storeking has created a platform that solves the fundamental constraints in our markets with last mile logistics and payments while building trust amongst mass market consumers,” Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Axiata Digital, said.
Axiata is a shareholder in Indian telecom major, Idea Cellular.