Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based rural tech startup, Hesa secured $2 million (over Rs 14 crore) funding as part of its seed round led by Venture Catalysts. Manish Modi of Mastermind Capital led the funding round at Venture Catalysts (VCats) along with Accelerator Fund, 9Unicorns.
The round also saw participation from Inflection Point Ventures, We Founder Circle, Keiretsu Forum, Faad Network, Startup Angels Network and Salil Chakrabarty Innovation Fund.
Co-founded by Vamsi Udayagiri and Hema Nandiraju in 2019, Hesa unifies value chains in rural India by enabling local brands and businesses to come together as a community. Complemented by the on-ground network on Village Level Entrepreneurs, Hesa’s tech-led platform empowers businesses to reach, demonstrate and transact with their 85 crore customers across all remote and rural regions in the country. Further, Hesa’s value proposition targets a space that lies at the intersection of India’s fintech and agritech sector, projected to be worth $84 billion and $24 billion, respectively, by 2025.
Hesa is already generating high gross merchandise value (GMV) and profitable margins. Every transaction on Hesa’s platform generates revenue, further supplemented by marketing and service-based income from rural promotions and activations, rural contract staffing, promotions on the Hesa app, etc.
Vamsi Udayagiri, founder & CEO, Hesa, said, “Rural commerce continues to be driven by trust, relationships and physical interactions. Adding a layer of digital, unlocks its true potential. It is indeed an opportune time to connect India to Bharat phygitally.”
Dr Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, co-founder & president of Venture Catalysts, added, “Hesa is redefining rural commerce with its community-driven platform and empowering village-level businesses to reach their target audience. It is unlocking access to employment opportunities at scale, thus making small businesses empowered more so during a pandemic-triggered crisis.”
Neeraj Tyagi, CEO & co-founder, We Founder Circle added, “The rural India holds immense potential when it comes to B2B2C business opportunities. Hesa has not only cracked it but have successfully sustained it at scale.”
Commencing its operations from April 2020, Hesa has embarked on a high growth trajectory, accruing gross revenue of $4 million to date while witnessing a 15 per cent average monthly growth and a 65 per cent retention rate. Hesa has already connected over 65 brands to 6,00,000 rural customers through 8,000 Village Level Entrepreneurs, the ‘Hesaathis,’ in around 5,000 Indian villages.
The investment will support and accelerate Hesa’s plans to scale up operations in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and also to scale its technology platform. The team is working towards on-boarding 50,000 ‘Hesaathis’ in the next nine months.
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