11-Dec-2019  Düsseldorf / Germany

Expanding direct-to-consumer expertise with focus on Indian retail market

Henkel invests in digital platform start-up m.Paani

Henkel participates in a funding round in the Indian start-up m.Paani to further strengthen its expertise in novel digital go-to-market models. The investment by the company’s unit HenkelX Ventures will help Henkel gaining valuable insights about the retail markets and consumer behaviors in emerging markets. At the same time, it supports the company’s strategic priority to accelerate digitalization.

“The Indian retail market with 60 million local shops provides huge potential for our businesses which can be unlocked by innovative digital go-to-market models”, said Dr. Rahmyn Kress, Global Head of HenkelX Ventures. “m.Paani has developed a powerful mobile platform that connects consumers and local retailers via loyalty programs and has already proven the capabilities of its business model. We are excited about this partnership through which we aim to gain valuable insights about the local retail market while evaluating the potential of the platform and technology for other global consumer markets.”

Innovative digital platform for retailers and consumers

The vast majorities of Indian consumers do their shopping at local stores in their neighborhood. About 95 percent of the 60 million local retailers across the country today are not digitally enabled. m.Paani, founded in 2014 and headquartered in Mumbai, India, had developed a single digital platform offering comprehensive online functionalities for retailers to provide a convenient and personalized online shopping experience for end consumers. In addition, the start-up offers the last mile delivery to consumers as well as hyperlocal marketing, inventory and customer relationship support.

Akanksha Hazari-Ericson, CEO and Founder of m.Paani, says, “We have always believed in the local retailer. They are a bedrock of communities and the economy. m.Paani is bridging the technology gap to ensure that our local retailers not just survive but thrive in India 2.0. The future of Indian retail is, and must be, local.”

About HenkelX Ventures
HenkelX Ventures is a global early stage investment fund. HenkelX Ventures focuses its investments into companies with a focus of Marketplaces, Direct-to-Consumer, Artificial Intelligence and IoT. Further core activity of HenkelX Ventures is the development of its open innovation platform that brings together thought leaders, entrepreneurs and industry partners through an open collaboration model. The mission is to unite Henkel and other industry players to invest into rising technology and create unique opportunities through a joint ecosystem and interlinked experimentation.