Editorial Team

Further to launching the Rocketfuel x Huddle, an accelerator program aimed at investing in and mentoring D2C startups, Shiprocket, India’s leading tech-enabled logistics and fulfillment platform, and Huddle, India’s leading accelerator and early-stage fund, have collectively received over 300 applications, resulting in a two-week extension of the last date for submission of applications. The extension comes with the announcement of RocketFuel x Huddle looking to back and invest in additional D2C startups.

The majority of the applications were received from the Consumer Goods (75%) and E-commerce Enablers (25%) categories. In the Consumer Goods segment, Food and Beverages (F&B) (47%) startups saw the highest number of applications, followed by Fashion and Apparel (21%), Beauty and Personal Care (17%), and finally, Home Improvement (15%). Marketplaces (82%) came on top in the E-commerce Enablers category, followed by Customer Analytics, Gamification Tools, and AI-enabled e-commerce (18%). The Rocketfuel x Huddle program has already shortlisted a few D2C startups currently being supported with working capital, distribution and market access, and logistics support. Since being chosen for the program, select startups have already witnessed close to 40% month-on-month growth in revenue. Startups selected have already been provided working capital to accelerate their growth, with investments taking place in the seed round of another startup, soon to be revealed.

Rocketfuel x Huddle is in the process of selecting early-stage D2C startups to join the program following the extension of the application submission date. The evaluation of selection is currently taking place across the F&B, D2C enablers, Beauty and Personal Care, and Fashion and Apparel sectors.

Furthermore, out of the 300+ applications received, Shiprocket and Huddle observed that 50% of the applications were from tier-I cities while 35% were from Tier-II cities, and 15% were from Tier-III cities. Rocketfuel x Huddle also saw that nearly 60% of the startups that applied had at least one female founder, and at least 10% of all applications comprised an all-female promoter group. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Pune were the cities from where a majority of the applications were received. Apart from this, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka also contributed to a large number of startup applicants.

Speaking about the increase in applications and the deadline extension, Saahil Goel, Co-Founder, and CEO of Shiprocket, said, “Since the time we announced the launch of the Rocketfuel x Huddle program, the number of applications has been skyrocketing. Over the last few weeks, based on the response we have received, the data analyzed, and the evaluations that we’ve made, it’s evident that the D2C ecosystem in the country is thriving. Our Rocketfuel x Huddle program is fully equipped/prepared to support, accelerate, invest, and back innovative D2C startups. Our evaluations have reinstated our belief in addressing both capital and non-capital pain points of the D2C startups in the country. We are pleased to see the number of applications, and we look forward to choosing the best out of these to back them and enable them to grow.”

Sanil Sachar, Founding Partner, Huddle, said, “The seasonal period is a time where startups are bound to witness large growth in their sales, and the intent of extending our applications is to provide the ability to sustain and elevate from this seasonal growth. Additionally, with D2C brands estimated to capture the $100bn market by 2025, the number and quality of applications have reinstated our intent to be a key stakeholder in contributing to this growth from the ground up through RocketFuel X Huddle. We’ve already committed our support to select startups but the launch of this co-acceleration platform is merely a beginning to back more founders across the country that are shaping an industry that has already seen $1Bn+ of funding in the first two quarters of 2021.”

Towards the end of September 2021, Shiprocket announced that it is collaborating with Huddle to launch the Rocketfuel x Huddle accelerator program, which is aimed at investing USD 1 million towards mentoring growth-stage D2C startups. The program also offers USD 30,000 per startup, infrastructure across the back and front-end support, and credits up to USD 500,000 for the chosen startups. With this program, Shiprocket and Huddle aim to foster a progressive ecosystem that will further propel the growth of D2C startups in India.

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