ReshaMandi, India’s first silk-tech startup that operates as a B2B marketplace for silk farmers, businesses, and merchants in India, has secured a $30 million Series A funding round backed by global alternative investment manager Creation Investments.
The fresh round of funding comprised a mix of equity and debt, which saw participation from new investors which include Venture Catalysts, 9Unicorns, Brijesh Agarwal – founder of IndiaMART, Sandeep Singhal from Nexus, as well as Omnivore, which earlier drove ReshaMandi’s seed round. Debt investors that featured in the round include Alteria, Innoven, Northern Arc, and Stride Ventures.
Mayank Tiwari, Co-founder, and CEO of ReshaMandi, in a statement, said, “This round of funding will allow us to expand into newer territories and operationalize our research and development (R&D) work while helping further stakeholders reap the benefits of our innovations and efficiencies. On a personal note, I would like to thank each and every one of our customers, suppliers, investors, and of course the ever-growing ReshaMandi team.”
ReshaMandi, which was founded in May 2020, by Mayank Tiwari, a NIFT gold medalist, Utkarsh Apoorva, an IIT Delhi serial technology entrepreneur, and Saurabh Agarwal, a former Cisco Systems technologist entrepreneur. The Bangalore-based silk-tech startup offers a full-stack digital ecosystem, from farm to fashion, connecting at all levels with distinct divisions of the supply chain. It starts with the farmers and incorporates AI and IoT to maximize moriculture and sericulture production.
Thereafter, it leverages scientific cocoon grading to accurately price the raw product and make procurement simpler for silk reelers. ReshaMandi ensures cost-effective yarn procurement for weavers using AI-powered yarn grading and linkages. Retailers and other businesses can then purchase the woven product with assurance in its origin, quality, and long-term sustainability. ReshaMandi imposes a nominal fee for each transaction in the process.
The company describes itself as a grassroots facilitator that works with sericulture farmers, fabric weavers, silk reelers, and retailers effectively. Currently, the startup collaborates with 25,000 farmers, 1500 cotton reeling plants, and 1000 weaving units, facilitating them in selling approximately Rs 15 crore worth of cotton.
Silk is a perishable material, and the silkworm cocoon cannot be preserved without degradation. Sericulture farmers are regularly pressured to travel up to 400 kilometers to sell their products. ReshaMandi employs technology to determine the quality of silk and market it. Farmers can then use ReshaMandi’s platform to sell their products.
In March 2021, the startup raised $1.7 million in seed funding. The company claims to have witnessed a 30x substantial increase in revenue in the first year of its operation, with a gross merchandise value (GMV) of $55 million.