StoreKing sets up digital kiosks for local retailers, which are equipped with low-cost TV monitors and Android tablets, to provide a self-service shopping experience to small-town shoppers
Axiata Digital, a subsidiary of Malaysian telecom company Axiata Group Berhad, has made a US$16 million investment in Bangalore-based assisted e-commerce startup StoreKing, which partners with local retailers by setting up kiosks to provide a simple self-service shopping experience to small-town shoppers.
While this Axiata Digital’s first investment in India, its parent already owns 20 per cent stake in leading Indian telecom company Idea Cellular.
StoreKing had earlier raised US$6 million from Luxembourg-headquartered VC firm Mangrove Capital Partners.
Started in 2012 by Sridhar Gundaiah and Govardhan Krishnappa, StoreKing leverages the use of modern low-cost technology kiosks equipped with low-cost TV monitors and Android tablets to provide a simple self-service shopping experience to small-town shoppers.
With presence in over 1,200 towns, StoreKing’s model enables rural retailers to sell over 50,000 products to walk-in customers via the digital kiosks. The retail shop owner helps customers use the mobile kiosk, select products and make cash payment to the retailer. In return, a receipt is given and StoreKing ships the products to the retail store within 24-48 hours. Users then can collect their order from these retail stores.
Currently, StoreKing operates 16,000 mobile kiosks with a network of local stores across south India. It claims to deliver over 150,000 orders every month from a base of over 1 million.
StoreKing offers physical products (FMCG, electronics) as well as digital services (mobile/DTH recharge, insurance etc.).
“StoreKing has created a platform that solves the fundamental constraints in our markets with last-mile logistics and payments, while building trust amongst mass-market consumers. It is pivotal in bringing the rest of our consumers into the digital sphere,” said Mohammed Khairil Abdullah, CEO of Axiata Digital.
Axiata is one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia with approximately 290 million subscribers in ten countries. It has controlling interests in six mobile operators under the brand names of ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and ‘Ncell’ in Nepal, with strategic interests in ‘Idea’ in India and ‘M1’ in Singapore.
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