How does Indian Retail Start-Up Perpule Help Offline Stores Go Online?

This is all you need to know about Amazon's newly acquired retail tech start-up Perpule and its working model.


In today’s economic climate, digitisation has more impact than ever, and start-ups are leading this digital revolution. A newly added retail tech start-up to the list of acquisitions by e-commerce giant Amazon is Bengaluru-based start-up – Perpule. Perpule is bettering the way to shop offline using new-age online solutions.

Founded by engineers from leading Indian universities, Perpule received its first external funding from the Kalari Capital in 2016. It has evolved from a single store in India to over 100 stores and several cafes, including IT giant Infosys and many others.

Perpule is a start-up that aims to make the profitability of mobile applications more transparent. According to the company’s mission information, it offers “the most actionable mobile app data and insights” for retail businesses (groceries, F&B, clothing, etc.). Company founders Abhinav Pathak, Saketh BSV and Yogesh Ghaturle hope to bring a swift and easy mobile retail experience to as many people as possible.  And Perpule is very much on its way to attaining that goal, as Amazon’s acquired the company for Rs 108 crore last week. 

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With the advent of large-scale production of SaaS by many large companies such as Shopify, AWS, etc., the task of building applications has become more accessible.

Perpule is facilitating commercial cooperation of the retail industry

The first product of this start-up, launched in late 2016, was designed to help consumers avoid lines at market places such as Shoppers Stop and Big Bazaar. Perpule offers offline retailers a point of sale machine that allows them to accept digital payments and is available in many payment apps stores in India, including PayTM, PhonePe and Google Pay. The company has developed a cloud-based point-of-sale offering that enables offline stores in India better to manage inventory, payment processes and overall user experience.

Perpule Amazon Acquisition
Perpule founders (left to right): Yogesh Ghaturle, Saketh BSV and Abhinav Pathak

Start-of-the-art Technology used by Perpule

This Bangalore-based start-up has snowballed in recent years, giving SaaS like StoreSE that allow a company to fulfil its corporate mandates like bulk ordering and cost-saving on retail. The company’s broad and scalable vision has played a vital role in its multi-million dollar acquisition by Amazon.

Fundamentally, Perpule is a joint engagement and automation product that retailers can use to improve their return on investment (ROI) and provide a better customer experience. While building the self-checkouts shopping journey for the customers has created a super-strong OMS that can cater to both in-store and online shopping requirements.

Perpule Fair – Simple Application for Merchants

Like the simple OMS application interface, the “Purple Fair” application can also meet retailers and small businesses’ dynamic needs. The application is a simple billing and payment app that retailers can use to scan stock barcodes, connect customer data, make purchasing decisions and orders. The app also includes a payment section, and merchants can create online payment and debit cards through the Purple Fair app. After payment, it also has a digital Goods and Services (GST) tax billing module, which can reduce printer and other expenses.

In general, thanks to this system, all retailers- small and large- can use their mobile phones to collect payments and generate invoices digitally through local platforms, invoice counters, and barcode readers.

What can others learn from this story?

With the advent of large-scale production of SaaS by many large companies such as Shopify, AWS, etc., the task of building applications has become more accessible. In a country like India, what remains a challenge is making people use it and inspiring them with the benefits of such solutions. When the users are highly non- mobile-savvy, which is the case in India’s millions of Kirana and local shops, a key strategy is needed to tap the billions of dollars worth, new market. 

Start-ups like Perpule spend a lot of time learning about the vast SME retail market – economically, demographically, psychologically and socially- to find what the real India shops and how to design products that SMEs could quickly adapt to. If you are a start-up in this sector or a wannapreneur for this business, you can surely start by following this company’s lead as the potential to grow is immense.

Aakash Sharma
Aakash Sharma
Aakash writes on Startup Ecosystem, Policies, Legal and Regulatory aspects of business planning. An alumnus of Delhi University, he is assistant editor at Dutch Uncles.

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