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Prosus Ventures leads $40M investment in Indian logistics startup ElasticRun

Millions of neighborhood stores that dot large and small cities, towns, and villages in India and have proven tough to beat for e-commerce giants and super-chain retailers are at the center of a new play in the country. A score of e-commerce companies, offline retail chains, and fintech startups are now racing to work with these mom and pop stores as they look to tap a massive untapped opportunity.
A Pune-based startup with an idea to build a logistics network using these kirana stores said today it has won the backing of a major international investor. Three-and-a-half-year old ElasticRun said it has raised $40 million in a Series C financing round led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures). Existing investors Avataar Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.
The startup has raised $55.5 to date, Sandeep Deshmukh, co-founder and CEO of ElasticRun, told TechCrunch in an interview.
Most of these kirana stores each day go through hours of down time — when the footfall is low and the business is slow. ElasticRun works with hundreds of thousands of these stores across 200 Indian cities to have them deliver goods to other kirana stores and consumers.
Supplying goods to these stores are FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) brands that are trying to reach the last mile in the nation. Nearly every top FMCG brand in the country today is a partner of ElasticRun, said Deshmukh.
Prosus Ventures leads $40M investment in Indian logistics startup ElasticRun
Deshmukh, co-founder and CEO of ElasticRun, talking about the startup’s business at a recent conference
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