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ElasticRun turns unicorn, raises $330 million led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Goldman Sachs

ElasticRun, founded by Sandeep Deshmukh, Shitiz Bansal and Saurabh Nigam in 2016, helps kirana or neighbourhood stores source goods and working capital from large FMCG brands

February 17, 2022 / 12:10 PM IST

ElasticRun has closed a funding round of $330 million led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs Asset Management at a valuation of $1.5 billion, the business-to-business e-commerce platform confirmed on February 17, making it the seventh unicorn of 2022.

The latest round also saw participation from Chimera and Innoven along with long-term investor Prosus Ventures. The company has together raised about $460 million till date.

Moneycontrol was the first to report last week about ElasticRun turning a unicorn, a private company valued at a billion dollars or more.

Founded by Sandeep Deshmukh, Shitiz Bansal and Saurabh Nigam in 2016, ElasticRun helps kirana or neighbourhood stores source goods and working capital from large FMCG brands. Its provides analytics, aggregation and offers delivery to small towns as well.

The company will use the investment to expand its rural reach and expand credit facilities for retailers, the company said in a statement.

Sandeep Deshmukh, ElasticRun co-founder and CEO, said, “We have been growing at a rapid pace and are consistently expanding our store network across India.”

“We have grown over 10x in the last 15 months and are bullish to capitalise further on this momentum. At present, we cover nearly 80,000 villages across 28 states. Our goal is to penetrate deeper and build our reach further in these states while also simultaneously grow in the rest of the country."  

ElasticRun estimates that sales in kirana stores across rural markets would grow to $600 billion over the next five years. The company plans to grow its presence into 30+ states.

"In a year’s time, we want to bring a million stores to our network and grow the network to 2 million stores in the next 18-24 months," said Deshmukh.

The platform provides more than 300 brands with actionable insights by unlocking data about rural commerce, the company said.

“We have always been excited to back founders who provide unique solutions for the local market. With its deep reach in rural India and tech-led platform, we believe ElasticRun is well-positioned to unlock the next wave of e-commerce,” Narendra Rathi, Vice President, SoftBank Investment Advisers, said. “We have been closely tracking the company and have been impressed by their growth, focus on unit economics and value creation for kirana store partners and brands.”

Mamaearth, Fractal Analytics, Dealshare, LEAD School, Darwinbox, and Livspace are the other companies to have turned unicorn this year.
Sanghamitra Kar
first published: Feb 17, 2022 12:10 pm