Retail tech startup NutriTap Technologies has raised nearly $1.5 million from Venture Catalysts, LetsVenture, IK Capital, Elysian Fintech and several marquee HNIs from the retail industry.

Founded in 2018 by IIT Kharagpur alumni Rajesh Kumar and Priyank Tiwari, NutriTap creates alternative retail channels for brands to do Direct-to-Customer (D2C) retail. The startup’s full-stack retail expertise includes smart kiosk technology and simplified distribution mechanisms.

NutriTap is currently operating over 250 smart retail kiosks locations across the tier 1 metro cities of India. NutriTap plans to use the capital raised to scale up in-house technology, invest in R&D and expand its presence across regions and cities.

“In India, kiosk based retail is now accepted as an alternate mode of retailing. To make sure that customers get the right retailing solution, you need to have the right technology to do that. At NutriTap, we are building the technology to address this alternate channel market which stands at $10 billion,” said Rajesh Kumar, co-founder of NutriTap.

India has limited players who can create efficient unmanned retail infrastructure and also has a high dependence on the import of antiquated and costly vending machines from global markets. NutriTap said it has addressed this issue through manufacturing in-house, patented, retail kiosk technology that includes machine design, payment hardware, backend software and data and business insight capabilities.

Another Pune-based startup Vendekin technologies also operates in a similar space since 2016. In fact, Vendekin is one of the first hardware-enabled SaaS companies from India that is making waves in the global unattended retail market.

The company has developed a hardware product called ‘Retrobox’ that makes legacy vending machines ‘smart’ and offers a touchless mobile checkout experience; a necessity given increasing digital payments globally. The device can also link the vending machines to Vendekin’s Vending Management System (VMS) which covers the entire vending operations – managing purchase orders, warehouse inventory, automated machine planograms, pricing, automated service tickets and cash management.

The company also offers a dedicated operator app that allows them to get key insights and data on the go.

Retrobox has seen massive adoption globally with leading vending industry players like Sandenvendo signing up with the company to make their existing vending machines smart.

Sandenvendo controls around one lakh vending machines in the US and five lakh machines around the globe. Vendekin’s product is now operating in six countries including India, UAE, the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia and Oman and it has enabled over 2 million transactions to date. It has also partnered with companies like Marshal, Elanpro, BVG, Locad and others.

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