Srinagar-based Online handicrafts and handlooms marketplace Kashmir Box, has raised an undisclosed amount in its angel funding round from a clutch of prominent investors include Bhairavi Jani, Director at SCA Group; Alok Divatia, former marketing head at LG India; Namrata Koul. former MD of Deutsche Bank; Sohail Hashemi, Software Development Manager at Amazon US; and Aijaz Saleem, a handicraft exporter in Kashmir.
The startup plans to use the newly raised capital to expand its base of local artisans and farmers and launch its gourmet food brand Koshur at more than 200 selling points across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.
Commenting on his investment in Kashmir Box Bhairavi Jani, director of SCA Group’s said, “I am pleased to invest in Kashmir Box, which is reviving some of the valley’s largest and critical sectors; handicrafts, handlooms and agriculture in a manner that appeals to a global audience.”
Founded in 2011 by Muheet Mehraj, Kashmir Box is an online marketplace for handicrafts, handlooms and local produce. The platform sells authentic Kashmiri food items and local products worldwide.
“We have successfully managed to bring together more than 10,000 local artisans and farmers on our platform that have served a strong 50,000 plus clientele across 40 countries already. Our efforts have resulted in an approximately 40% increase in the wages of our artisans and farmers,” Mehraj said in the statement.
Through its Koshur brand, Kashmir Box works with more than 300 farmers across the Valley who sell healthy food offerings such as saffron, dry fruits, teas and kehwas, spices and herbs and essential oils among others. Koshur had a turnover of Rs 1.1 crore last year alone, with dry fruits, spices, honey and jams being the most sold products.
At present, the average purchase ticket size at Kashmir Box platform is $52 (INR 3500). The startup plans to achieve revenue of around $3.7 Mn (INR 25 Cr) in 2018.