Wheelocity, an early-stage supply chain startup that handles fresh food supplies for quick commerce platforms in India, has raised $12 million in a new financing round as it gears up to broaden its product offerings and expand workforce.
Lightspeed India Partners led the startup's Series A funding, which is a mix of 80% equity and 20% venture debt, the startup said. Anicut Capital and a few other investors also participated in the round.
Founded in September 2021, Wheelocity provides quick commerce firms with a supply chain of fresh food. The startup says its supply chain network integrates collection centers, fulfilment and distribution centers, last-mile hubs, dark stores and logistics.
Wheelocity's customers include Swiggy's Instamart, Flipkart-backed Ninjacart, Google-backed Dunzo and Zomato's Blinkit.
"Fresh commerce as a category has been operating in a very traditional way over the last 2,000 years, so to say," said Selvam VMS, founder and CEO at Wheelocity, in a telephonic interview. "So, we are making it technology-enabled and bringing a lot of visibility into inventory management."
The Chennai-based startup claims that by using its technology-based supply chain network, customers can launch their operations in new cities in less than seven days.
Wheelocity is currently operational in more than 12 cities, including top-seven cities, and is handling close to 700 tonnes of fruit and vegetable supplies each day. It has a team of more than 350 members that it is planning to expand across roles in product, technology and operations, among others, over the next six months.
Though Wheelocity started its business with fruits and vegetables, it has since expanded to areas including dairy, seafood, meat and poultry.
Over the next 12 months, the startup is aiming to reach more than 30 more cities in India.
Prior to the funding round, Wheelocity was bootstrapped. The founding team that includes co-founders Amresh Singh and Senthil Kumar along with VMS had invested $6,30,000-$7,50,000 into the business, VMS told TechCrunch.
"Solving the fresh supply chain in India is a very large problem and in Wheelocity, we saw a mission-driven team, committed to create a meaningful difference for its customers by creating the rails for fresh commerce in the country," said Rahul Taneja, partner at Lightspeed, in a statement.
Wheelocity is planning to deploy its fundraise to build new product offerings on farm-side operations and build technology-powered supply chains to reduce and eliminate food wastage, it said. It is also building Internet of Things (IoT)-based packing units, AI-based work solutions and warehouse/logistics automation.
Instant commerce is making fast inroads in India. Swiggy's Instamart and Y Combinator-backed Zepto are among the leaders in the space, which took off during the pandemic.