Retail-tech startup Daalchini raises $4 million in a round led by Unicorn India Ventures

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Retail-tech startup Daalchini raises $4 million in a round led by Unicorn India Ventures
Daalchini Team (L to R) - Ayush Rastogi, Prerna Kalra, Vidya Bhushan, Anupam Saxena.
  • The funding round was led by Unicorn India Ventures.
  • Daalchini now aims to focus on expanding its industry footprint and further its tech capabilities.
  • The company aims to clock ₹50 crore revenue in 12 months.
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Delhi-based retail-tech startup Daalchini has raised $4 million in a series A round led by Unicorn India Ventures.

The round also saw participation from Artha Venture Fund, Ajay Kaul – former CEO of Domino’s India, and VSS Investco – the investment vertical of Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Founded by former Paytm employees Prerna Kalra and Vidya Bhushan in 2017, Daalchini is an IoT-enabled ‘phygital’ (physical+digital) vending machine provider that serves more than 100 start-ups, co-working spaces, large MNCs, hospitals, educational institutes, and residential complexes. It is present in over 20 cities in India and has more than 200 franchise partners and over 160 brands selling on its platform.

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Now, after its recent funding round, Daalchini will focus on expanding its industry footprint and furthering its tech capabilities. It is targeting to be present across 10 million retail points in India and 450+ F&B D2C brands.

Daalchini has grown 300% in the last 12 months with ₹12 crores revenue in FY2022. More than 90% of its vending machines are EBITA positive within 45 days, it said.

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Daalchini aims to clock ₹50 crores in revenues with a Gross Merchandise Value of ₹130 crores in 12 months. It is planning to grow from 850+ to over 5,000 smart and autonomous retail points in the next 12-18 months.

“The retail-tech segment in India is going through a massive transition from its traditional physical store form to a digital one, the speed of which has been intensified by the pandemic. In this phase, Daalchini represents the best of both worlds with a ubiquitous physical presence backed by a strong technological framework that prioritises its customers’ needs and convenience,” said Ruchi Pincha, Investment Associate, Unicorn India Ventures.

Daalchini has tied up with leading companies like Reliance, Aditya Birla Group’s Hindalco, Vodafone, GE, Genpact, NITI Aayog, Housr, MX Player, Samsung, Paytm, Snapdeal, Byjus, EY, OLX, OYO, Loreal and VIVO, among others.

“Daalchini aims to establish its footprints at every 200 metres of habitable area with its autonomous smart stores and vending machines. Today, our country has just a few thousand vending machines, while the US or Japan has more than one autonomous store for every 200 people. We are far from the true potential of this kind of retail,” said Kalra, who is also the CEO of Daalchini Technologies.

According to the Kearney India Retail Index, the retail industry, dominated by the food and groceries sector, will grow at a 9% rate from $779 billion in 2019 to $1.4 trillion in 2026 and reach $1.9 trillion by 2030. Despite the pandemic, research finds that the industry has and will continue to grow on the back of value e-commerce and an unprecedented reach across Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
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