Jumbotail, India’s new retail platform and business to business (B2B) ecommerce marketplace for food and grocery products, has raised an $85 million Series C round led by Artal Asia Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of global investment firm Invus.

Ajax Capital, the family office of veteran fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) entrepreneur Ajay Gupta, also participated in the round, Jumbotail said in a statement.

This Series C round was a combination of primary and secondary investments, with early investors Nexus Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital taking minor part-exits in the secondary. This takes the total capital raised by the company to $125 million.

According to the statement, Jumbotail will use the funds to triple its engineering, product, design, data science, category management, marketing, and finance teams.

It will also scale its core B2B marketplace to 100 cities and towns across India, expand its network of J24 stores, invest in large scale kirana entrepreneur skill development initiatives, and further strengthen its Go-To-Market services to support regional and new age FMCG brand.

“We nearly quadrupled our scale in 2021 and are looking to further accelerate our growth trajectory in the coming year. We will continue to invest aggressively to make Jumbotail the pre-eminent destination for food and grocery brands to reach the overwhelming majority of India’s consumers through our pan-India network of kirana partners,” said Ashish Jhina, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Jumbotail.

Meanwhile, Invus Asia Managing Director Francis Cukierman, and Invus US Managing Director Benjamin Felt will join Jumbotail’s board of directors.

“Our evergreen structure enables us to partner for the long term with companies who seek to transform their industries, and we are thrilled to embark on such a partnership with Jumbotail, which is rapidly emerging as an industry-defining company in B2B eCommerce. We share Ashish and Karthik’s vision of digitising kirana stores to transform India’s food and grocery retail landscape at scale,” said Cukierman and Felt.

Ajay Gupta from Ajax Capital also said, “Having spent nearly 25 years building FMCG brands in India the hard way, I believe Jumbotail will make it infinitely easier for the next generation of FMCG brands to scale rapidly and cost effectively. I am excited to be part of this journey”

Heron Rock Sole General Partner and Jumbotail Board Director Tom Williams said, “I knew in my first meeting with Jumbotail’s founders that I had discovered a company unlike any other in my career. This fundraise is a validation of the top-notch execution demonstrated by the Jumbotail team throughout the Covid pandemic and the immense value they are creating for brands and kirana store entrepreneurs in an incredibly capital efficient manner.”

Jumbotail was founded in Nov 2015 by Stanford MBA classmates S.Karthik Venkateswaran and Ashish Jhina. Karthik served with the Indian army in hard combat and is a marketplace tech/product veteran from eBay-US and Flipkart. Ashish Jhina is a 3rd generation apple farmer, and a former consultant with BCG, with deep experience in agricultural production and supply chains.

Jumbotail connects nearly 2000 FMCG and staples brands and sellers to about 150,000 kirana stores across 38 cities and towns in India via its full stack e-commerce model consisting of its B2B e-commerce marketplace platform and its industry leading warehousing and logistics supply chain network.

Jumbotail’s new retail platform transforms kirana stores into modern omni-channel convenience grocery stores under the J24 brand within 24-48 hours – offering kirana retailers a full suite of retail operating system for digitizing in-store operations with point-of-sale (POS), inventory management, real time data and merchandising insights, daily fulfillment of thousands of products, a business to consumer (B2C) online store as well as loyalty and digital marketing solutions to better connect retailers to their consumers. The company provides direct and indirect employment to over 2000 people across the country.

According to the statement, an estimated 14 million kirana stores in India control more than 95 percent of the country’s $500B+ food and grocery market, thus, startups like Jumbotail are poised to transform the kirana store ecosystem at an unprecedented pace and scale over the next few years.

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