Ahmedabad-based retail store network Frendy announced a significant boost in its expansion plans with a fresh infusion of $2 million (INR 16 Cr) in funding.
This round, which the company refers to as a ‘bridge round,’ saw support from both existing and new investors, including Desai Ventures, Auxano Capital, AT Capital Singapore, and Metara Ventures.
The primary goal behind this injection of funds is to beef up Frendy’s technology capabilities, widen its network of stores, and diversify its range of in-house branded products.
Founded back in 2019 by Sameer Gandotra, Gowrav Vishwakarma, and Harshad Joshi, Frendy operates via an app that allows customers to conveniently place orders for its products. The unique aspect lies in its utilization of small local shops, known as Kirana stores, as the final point of distribution.
With a workforce of 100 professionals and its base in Ahmedabad, Frendy presently serves over 50,000 customers across more than 40 towns in Gujarat. Offering a selection of over 4,500 products, it operates within Tier 2 to 6 towns.
Frendy’s retail model involves Franchised Frendy Marts, sized between 500 to 1000 sq. ft., that stock around 1,000 to 2,000 items. These Marts not only cater to walk-in customers but also function as centralized hubs for 30 to 50 nearby Frendy Micro stores within a 10 km radius.
These Micro stores, typically run by family-owned kiranas or home-based setups led by housewives, carry around 100 products each. The remaining products are available for digital ordering through Frendy’s app, with the assurance of quality and service from the respective Micro store owners.
The company estimates a starting cost of over 10 lakhs for a Mart franchise and around INR 50,000 for micro store franchisees.
Frendy’s vision focuses on reaching smaller towns and rural areas, leveraging local stores and digital connectivity to bridge the gap between traditional shopping and modern convenience. This new funding injection is expected to accelerate their expansion and further cement their presence in these regions.