Indian branded franchised retail chain for small towns of India SuperK has raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding led by Blume Ventures.

SuperK said in a statement on Wednesday that the round also saw participation from Silver Needle Ventures, Veltis Capital, Atrium Angels, and some angel investors and syndicates.

According to the statement, the funding will be used for investing in technology infrastructure, hiring, and scaling the platform to connect digital native brands with SuperK customers.

SuperK is a franchised retail chain for small towns of India, currently operating in over 80 Tier 3, 4, 5 towns of Andhra Pradesh serving 5 lakh+ families over the last four years.

With SuperK, customers are moving from unorganized Kirana stores to a branded, organized retail experience where a majority of customers go through a self-service store for the first time.

The firm is creating a modern grocery experience for small-town customers at transparent and affordable prices.

These customers are slowly transitioning from loose and unhygienic staples to packed and standardized staples from SuperK.

SuperK stores are typically between 500-1000 square feet sized walk-in stores stocking around 2500 stock keeping units (SKUs).

Tech is a huge differentiator making SuperK the only offline retailer in the country that has a full track of customer behavior by collecting granular data at every purchase. This data allows for personalized offers for every customer.

Tech is also used by the firm to motivate and gamify the store partners to drive specific selling behavior.

SuperK was founded in 2020 by Anil Thontepu and Neeraj Menta, two BITS Pilani batchmates, both second-time entrepreneurs.

Thontepu has been with Kaodim (UrbanClap of South East Asia) before which he managed growth and product at Hike, Byjus, and Phonepe.

Menta co-founded Hungerbox (India’s largest cafeteria management service) and has been with Flipkart and Zeta (Directi).

“At SuperK, our vision is to bring a better grocery shopping experience for the small-town customers who are currently stuck with a subpar experience provided by their neighborhood kirana store,” said Menta.

“Our customers have upgraded their lives since a SuperK store came up in their neighborhood, their grocery shopping has moved from a chore to a family shopping experience,

“These customers have discovered new products and upgraded to a more healthy choice of staples at SuperK,” he added.

Meanwhile, Karthik Reddy from Blume Ventures, said that they were tracking this space for a couple of years.

“While the market was hot for Tier 3-4 towns, retail enabled by a tech supply-chain backbone, we saw SuperK’s dense approach in AP paying off dividends and delivering store
level profitability – we think it’s the right way to build modern trade for Bharat,

“We are excited to back the next phase of scale before we eventually tackle most of South India,” he added.

A SuperK store is set up for every 25,000 population, a ratio that allows the creation of a high density of stores in every district.

SuperK is operationally profitable in the oldest region with just one town of Kadapa having more than 22 stores and holding more than 12 percent market share in a town of 4.5 lakhs in population.

It is noted that grocery retail is a $600 billion market in India.

Small towns (Tier-II and below) account for more than 80 percent of the grocery market but only less than 5 percent is currently with organized retail chains.

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