Bengaluru-based RubanBridge (1Bridge) — a last-mile supply chain and distribution network focused on the villages in rural India — Tuesday said it raised $2.5 million in fresh funding led by The Netherlands-based impact investor C4D Partners.
The round also included participation from new investors, including KAAJ Ventures, angel investors like Prashanth Prakash (Founding Partner, Accel Partners); Puneet Jetli (Co-founder of Happiest Minds); and Aradhana D Chatterjee — a seasoned PE/VC executive.
Existing angel investor Prashanth Boccasam, a US-based serial tech-entrepreneur and investor, also participated in this round.
C4D Partners and Prashanth Boccasam also acquired an additional stake through a secondary transaction, providing an exit to a few early shareholders.
With this round of funding, 1Bridge, over the next 18 months, plans to deepen its reach as a supply chain and distribution network across another 10,000 villages by adding 10,000 more entrepreneurs. It also plans to roll out 500+ ‘1Bridge Experience Centres’ at various Tehsil/Block towns, which will enable consumers to touch and feel aspirational products.
Moreover, it wants to expand its product and service offerings through strategic partnerships with consumer durables brands and fintech and credit companies who are looking to expand in rural hinterlands, and
strengthen its technology and data platform for ‘1Bridge Advisors’ or local micro-entrepreneurs to offer rural outreach and assisted commerce services.
Launched in May 2016 by Madan Padaki and co-founders Anil Kumar (CEO) and M Chakrawarty (Chief of Growth and Partnerships), village commerce platform 1Bridge provides a wide range of aspirational products and digital services at the doorsteps of village consumers.
It works with local rural entrepreneurs (1Bridge Advisors) to help deliver these products and fulfil services through an intuitive mobile-based tech platform.
Commenting on this investment, Arvind Agarwal, CEO, C4D Partners, said,
“We have been actively participating in the evolution of 1Bridge – almost since its inception back in 2016, to now a leader in village commerce. The foundations of the company are built with a strong emphasis on rural consumer experience, assisted commerce platform, terrific execution capabilities, and a focus on being capital efficient. We are delighted to continue supporting the team as they embark on their next stage of scale and impact.”
Prashanth Boccasam said, “With 1Bridge’s presence in thousands of villages through its entrepreneur network and technology platform, it is uniquely positioned to understand the needs and aspirations of rural India through the data they generate. I am excited to continue working closely with the team to generate insights that can truly transform access, choice, and convenience for our villages.”