[The Economic Times] Flourish Venture sees opportunities in embedded finance fintech platforms for kirana stores

Originally posted on The Economic Times

Global venture capital firm Flourish Ventures is planning to invest in Fintech start-ups looking at increasing its exposure to fintechs focused on embedded finance in retail especially the kirana stores in India, besides fintechs focused on B2B infrastructure platforms and consumer personal finance.
“(In embedded retail) Flourish Ventures has invested around $3million in Apnaklub and QueueBuster“ , said Harsh Gupta, Investor director (India) at Flourish Venture. “Through embedded finance platforms, a kirana store or the corner shop can get solutions to buy, manage and sell their goods”

A survey by the venture fund of 200 kirana stores and 198 of their customers show that 88 percent of those surveyed strongly agree that the corner shop is vital to their community and 92 percent plan to shop much more from such stores. The survey also found that customers shop frequently at their local kirana store versus only 11% who shop online

Embedded finance can unlock opportunities that have eluded traditional banks. Among the challenges in traditional finance, small business informality leads to less overall access to financial services. In embedded finance there is integration into shopkeeper operations making financial services seamless and intuitive.
Fintech funded by Flourish provides tech platforms to solve long standing shopkeeper challenges. Flourish constructed a holistic digital solutions framework to address critical shopkeeper needs. “These solutions can double shopkeeper earnings, leading to massive impact. Corner shops represent a significant share of grocery sales globally—as much as 90% in countries such as India and Indonesia” Gupta said, pointing to their survey findings. “Flourish Ventures have invested $26 million globally across six companies globally in embedded finance in retail”

Flourish Ventures launched Digitizing the Corner Shop research in partnership with Bain & Company and 60 Decibels for its global survey and also partnered with ApnaKlub to better understand corner shops across the globe and share learnings on how digital firms can serve their needs.

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