D2C Fulfillment platform ZFW Dark Stores raises $1.2m Seed Round from Riso Capital, SEA Fund, & strategic angels

ZFW Dark Stores, a full-stack fulfilment technology platform for E-commerce brands, on Monday, announced that it has raised a $1.2m Seed round from Riso Capital, SEA Fund, Lead Fund, and a clutch of marquee founder-angels.

New investors also include Middle East conglomerate Qudrah National Holdings, Archana Priyadarshini (GP, Point One Capital), South Asia Technology Partners, Long Tail Ventures, Jasminder Gulati (Founder, NowFloats; acquired by Reliance), and founders of India’s fastest-growing brands like The Mom’s Co (Mohit Sadaani), Rage Coffee (Bharat Sethi), Neeman’s (Amar Chhabra), Jimmy’s Cocktails (Ankur Bhatia), Letsbuy.com (Amanpreet Bajaj), Thrive (Karan Chechani and Dhruv Dewan), Almo (Abhishek Shah), and Aman Arora (Keventers) among other angels. Existing investors like ice.vc, Mumbai Angels, & Arjun Vaidya (Founder, Dr. Vaidya’s) participated in the round too.

With these funds, the Delhi-based startup said it plans to grow dark store operations across India, accelerate hiring, & build more technological capabilities to create a seamless delivery experience. It previously raised $415,000 in pre-seed funding from Indvest Family Office, Runwal Group, and founders of Epigamia, Beardo, The Face Shop, NOTO, etc.

ZFW Dark Stores helps D2C brands fulfill orders to customers in 30 minutes, 2 hours, & Same Day through its network of dark stores and last-mile delivery across India. The tech-stack integrates with a brand’s existing platforms to provide complete visibility into supply-chain operations & customers.

The startup, founded in 2021 by cloud kitchen entrepreneur Madhav Kasturia, currently operates 150+ dark stores across India with brands across F&B, Personal Care, and Consumer Goods as customers like Rage CoffeeClinikally, Epigamia, Jimmy’s Cocktails, HUL, Havmor Ice Cream, and Vadilal among others.

Commenting on the round announcement, ZFW Dark Stores founder Madhav Kasturia said, “Our technology platform empowers new-age brands that want to sell through their own channels & offer a superior Amazon-like Same-Day Delivery experience to customers: without breaking the bank or worrying about risks associated with over-dependence on E-commerce platforms (low margins, lack of control, & data). Solving for pain points in fulfillment like high RTOs, low customer delight, & margins is at the core of what we do.

We’re humbled to welcome new investors and especially enjoy the continued confidence of so many D2C founders- some of whom first joined us as customers & then doubled down on our mission as angels.”

Mohit Sadaani, Founder of The Moms Co. (acquired by The Good Glamm Group) said, “ZFW follows a relentless approach to help brands boost sales & customer loyalty- while aiming to meet the high bar on logistics and delivery services that established E-commerce platforms have set in the market. Looking forward to their journey.”

With rising online shoppers, acquisition costs, & shifting brand loyalties in E-commerce post-Covid, there’s an overwhelming need for brands to be closer than ever to customers with robust technology & infrastructure to support demand.

As part of its next phase, ZFW Dark Stores aims to expand to 10 cities across India by the end of 2022.

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