Rural e-commerce startup Inthree raises $4 million in Series A funding by Ventureast, Orios, IAN Fund

Chennai: Inthree Access Services Pvt Ltd., a technology enabled e-commerce platform for the next 500 million consumers, has raised $4 million in a Series A funding. The round, led by Ventureast, also saw participation from Orios Venture Partners and the IAN Fund.

Founded in 2013, by Ramanathan, Karthik and Narayanan, Inthree operates under the brand name Boonbox and has an omni-channel business model. Inthree is focused on the Indian rural markets and small towns, where 70% of the population lives. Over the years, Inthree has developed the expertise and capability to build and manage the entire commerce ecosystem in rural areas using technology.

The startup will use the funds raised to strengthen its technology backbone, enhance capabilities in last mile logistics and deepen its penetration in the 10 states where it operates. Since its inception Boonbox has sold over 1.5 million durables over to more than 1 million households.

Co-Founders Ramanathan, Karthik and Narayanan said, “Indian villages and small towns are home to a population of roughly 1 billion people. It is one of the largest white spaces in the world. The rural consumer is aspirational and increasingly seeking sophisticated products and services. Inthree has always focused on providing the most appropriate products, backed by home delivery (irrespective of distance) and top class after-sales service. We are delighted to be funded by some of the best names in the industry and plan to utilize the funds to increase scale and strengthen our backend capabilities to delight our customers.”

“Boonbox (Inthree) is ushering the next wave of rural transformation by delivering branded products to the doorstep of the rural consumers. By mitigating the friction points around financing, last mile logistics, and supply chain through technology based solutions, Inthree is pioneering the shift to assisted rural e-commerce. While financial inclusion was aimed at “banking the unbanked”, the key breakthrough here is in “making the inaccessible accessible” to the semi-urban and rural population,” said Siddhartha Das, General Partner, Ventureast.

“Boonbox is building a technology enabled commerce platform for Bharat, the next 500 million consumers in India, that hail from the smallest towns and villages in India. The company has a vision to own this ecosystem: sales, financing, logistics and service, that is currently missing in these regions. We believe that, just like in other areas like content, technology enabled commerce in India will be driven by models made for vernacular speakers. The company’s growth so far, is a testament to this,” said Rohan Dedhia, AVP – Orios.

Commenting on the investment, Amitabh Shrivastava, Managing Partner, IAN Fund said, “India sits on a goldmine in terms of the next set of users who would be transacting online and that would comprise mainly in the rural areas where the internet penetration is 15% and growing exponentially. Inthree is perfectly placed to make most of the upcoming surge in this trend as it has already established itself in the market and has an unfair first mover advantage in this space.”

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