Both founders had recently become fathers and were averse to exposing their daughters to any products that had chemicals in them – but they couldn’t find any place that curated these products well
India’s Joybynature, an e-store of organic products, announced on Tuesday that it secured a pre series A funding round of $1 million led by Mumbai Angels and Contrarian Vriddhi Fund along with other individual investors. Hero Group’s Abhimanyu Munjal and Mothersons Sumi Group’s Vaaman Sehgal of Mumbai Angels participated in this round.
The company raised $40,000 from a UK-based non-resident Indian (NRI) last year.
Joybynature works with 300 vendors across the country and offers 10,000 organic products, including toiletries, mosquito repellents, floor cleaners, cereals, baby food, and edible seeds. It also has experts on live chat for advice on healthy living.
The startup was founded in January 2014 by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) grads Shailesh Mehta and Rahul Kumar. Both had recently become fathers and were averse to exposing their daughters to any products that had chemicals in them. However, the founders couldn’t find any place that curated these products to their satisfaction.
That prompted them to start Joybynature. Earlier, Kumar was working with fashion e-store Yepme, and Mehta was with media firm India Today.
The startup has vendors from remote parts of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, and a few other states.
So far, the two-year-old startup claims to have serviced 50,000 orders. It registered gross merchandise value sales of $267,000 last financial year.
With fresh funding, Joybynature plans to increase marketing spending, hire senior level management, ramp up technology, and launch a private label.
Somak Ghosh, managing partner of Contrarian Vriddhi Fund, said that a shift in consumers’ mindset towards organic and natural products, consumers’ willingness to transact online, and a solid team was the rationale behind the investment. “We like the team and the work they have done so far with farmer-producer firms of organic and natural products,” he says.
Joybynature competes with almost all heavily funded grocery stores, including Grocers, Big Basket, and Local Banya who also sell organic products.
Editing by Malavika Velayanikal
This was originally published on Tech in Asia.
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