Soptle, a software-as-a-service (or SaaS)-led B2B retail platform, has raised an undisclosed funding round led by Soonicorn LLP and a group of renowned logistics leaders such as Vaishnav Shetty (Executive Director and CDO of All-cargo Group) Pirojshaw Sarkari (CEO of Gati Ltd) and Saurabh Agarwal (ex-founder Fitso (acquired by Zomato), etc., participated in this round.
Launched in May 2022 by 20-year-old engineering school dropout Pravas Chandragiri, Soptle is a SaaS-led B2B retail micro-platform that helps consumer goods companies distribute products using its network more than 15,000 retailers across the country. It also has around 400 distributors and 60 manufacturers on its platform.
Pravas comes from a small town of Balasore, Odisha. From the age of 12, he operated and helped his uncle develop his Kirana store. It was there that he learned the pain points of Kirana stores and understood the inefficiencies of the FMCG supply chain. He started the entrepreneurial journey at the young age of 17 and consolidated all his learning and his network to start Soptle.
Chandragiri said he identified that an assortment of products, regional brands, low margins and zero bargaining power were among the biggest problems for small neighborhood stores, which led him to start working to solve them and to help the kiranas to develop and evolve.
According to industry estimates, there is one Kirana (grocery store) store for every 100 households in India. Thus, nearly one million Kirana stores are potential customers for a retail model that provides them with the opportunity to effectively compete with modern online and offline retail options and grow their businesses profitably.
Pravas Chandragiri, founder of Soptle, said, “We have a unique distribution approach to build the largest FMCG distribution SaaS platform in India that enables critical connections between FMCG Manufacturers and Distributors/Wholesalers as well as retailers. It also enables FMCG manufacturers to supply products to millions of retailers across India, creating powerful and positive change for these stakeholders. »
“This fundraiser is a true representation of the vision we have at Soptle, which is to build a software-as-a-service (or SaaS) platform powered by an operating system for the Indian FMCG community, starting by the manufacturers who are the lifeblood of the FMCG industry. The funds raised will be used to expand Soptle’s distribution network across the country, scale product capabilities and grow the team,” added Pravas.
By digitizing and incentivizing FMCG manufacturers, Soptle has created a single, low-resource platform that eliminates unorganized and inefficient middlemen from the traditional supply chain. There are around 10-15 million Kirana stores in India, controlling a $500 billion FMCG market. This leaves a promising opportunity for a platform like this to create a direct and capital-efficient distribution network for the maker and retailer community using technology.
Saurabh Agarwal, Partner at Soonicorn LLPsaid, “We are thrilled to partner with Soptle as they address their vision to create a cutting-edge, lightweight, technology-driven model that enables FMCG manufacturers and retailers to increase revenue. The company has achieved impressive growth in its retailer base in less than a quarter while simultaneously striving to improve the lives of the FMCG manufacturers it works with.”