Kirana commerce platform ElasticRun raised $330 million ahead of FY23 and entered the coveted unicorn club. The substantial fundraising helped the Softbank-backed company grow its gross revenue by 24.7% during the fiscal year ending March 2023.
Elasticrun’s gross revenue from operations a.k.a. GMV grew 24.7% to Rs 4,755 crore in FY23 from Rs 3,812 crore in FY22, according to its consolidated financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.
As per the website, the B2B e-commerce platform aggregates supply from over 400 FMCG brands and provides logistics and warehousing services to rural stores in over eighty thousand villages across 26 states in India.
Coming to its revenue, the sale of FMCG products formed 92% of the GMV for the company. Income from this segment increased 25.8% to Rs 4,383 crore in FY23 from Rs 3,483 crore in FY22. The rest of the income comes from freight/logistics services.
Check TheKredible for a detailed revenue breakdown.
Having a Kirana commerce platform, the cost of material consumed accounted for 79% of the overall expenditure. In the line of scale, this cost rose 26% to Rs 4,320 crore in FY23 from Rs 3,431 crore in FY22.
Its freight & handling, employee benefits, legal professional fees, rent, and other overheads took the total expenditure up by 30.6% to Rs 5,470 crore in FY23 from Rs 4,187 crore in FY22. Head to, TheKredible for the complete expense breakup.
- Cost of material consumed
- Employee benefit expense
- Handling and Servicing Costs
- Legal professional charges
The increase in employee benefits and freight costs outpaced the growth in revenue, resulting in a 72% rise in losses which escalated to Rs 618 crore in FY23 from from Rs 359 crore in FY22. Its ROCE and EBIDTA margins stood at -30% and -12% respectively. On a unit level, the company spent Rs 1.15 to earn a rupee in the previous fiscal year.
|Expense/₹ of Op Revenue||₹1.10||₹1.15|
The company has mopped up $430 million to date and is valued at $1.44 billion. According to the data intelligence platform TheKredible, Prosus is the largest stakeholder with 21.36% followed by Avtaar Ventures and Kalari Capital. Its co-founders Sandeep Deshmukh, Saurabh Nigam, and Shitiz Bansal collectively command 22% of the company.
There is a pattern emerging when it comes to rural India focused startups, be it B2B or B2C. When it comes to establishing proof of concept, these markets have never failed to deliver, due to the sheer size and breadth of opportunities to fill ‘gaps’. Even established firms with their own distribution networks have been happy to ‘borrow’ the services and infrastructure of eager startups looking to deliver early numbers. Only to retract the moment the same firms seek a fairer value for their services.
Thus, for ElasticRun too, the moment when the firm starts to focus on actual bottomline, is when we will know if the same rural markets that have helped deliver strong growth will be steadfast at higher prices too. So far, we have seen rural stakeholders across categories willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make a little extra savings. Thus, even as VC’s remain convinced that a market this big cannot keep out a profitable unicorn or two, the markets themselves seem to be remarkably flexible in absorbing investor largesse, only to revert to mean when that stops. Elasticrun will, rather appropriately, need to be extremely flexible in the coming quarters on how it adapts to these realities, if the firm has any plans to seek unit economics soon enough.