Indian Angel Network on Thursday said it has invested an undisclosed amount in Chennai-based Inthree, a startup that acts as a channel to distribute products and services of social value to lower income groups. Inthree as an impact venture helps the Indian hinterland access the most significant products and services, by leveraging its rural distribution network and expertise in project management in rural areas and social sector, said a statement.
Bharat is keeping pace with India when it comes to spending on most fast-moving consumer goods. While the big cities in the country are getting ready to rub shoulders with metros, the semi-urban and rural areas too are getting out of dark areas.
Inthree focuses on achieving the triple goals of rural distribution, rural project implementation and rural consultancy, taking advantage of years of experience in last mile distribution and expertise in working in rural markets.
The company has so far distributed products that improve quality of life, to over 4,00,000 households in semi urban and rural locations using non-traditional channels like India Post, community based NGOs and micro finance institutions, among others. It also assists corporates in designing and implementing projects in rural locations, aimed at improving health care and education.
The funding will be principally used to fuel Inthree’s evolution into a complete rural consumer company with a strong sourcing and technology backbone.
"There has been a considerable increase in the consumer spends in rural India as the overall sense of well-being has increased. From product development to marketing strategies, companies are increasingly beginning to change the way they target the country’s rural population. In this scenario, Inthree plays a vital role in bridging the huge gap between manufacturers and rural consumers," said IAN member, Ashvin Chaddha in a statement.
According to company co-founder Ramachandran Ramanathan villages in India have spending power, but they also have some unique problems. "By utilizing our understanding of these problems and strong network in the rural areas we intend to offer equally unique solutions to tap into the rural opportunity and propel the rural rising, thus creating a better life and world for all," he said.