NE Origins raises pre-seed funding at $2 million valuation

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022 07:45 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Apr 06, 2022 02:12 [IST]

NE Origins raises pre-seed funding at $2 million valuation

GANGTOK, : Gangtok-based social commerce startup NE Origins founded by prominent Sikkimese entrepreneur Rewaj Chettri has successfully raised funding at a record $2 million valuation. This historic funding was secured with strong participation from strategic angel investors, including celebrated Indian footballer Bhaichung Bhutia and angel impact investors, said the NE Origins founder in a press statement on Tuesday.

“Our aim is to showcase the North East in a way it has never been done before. Our products are a unique insight into the diversity of the 200+ tribes across these 8 States,” said Rewaj.

“With this strategic investment and mentorship, we will be looking to build a strong online presence and improve the manufacturing and distribution network for the products from seed to store across India-  looking to disrupt the nearly USD 6 Bn Dollar NER consumer economy and larger mainland markets.”

Rewaj shared that the NE Origins startup has become one of the first ventures in Sikkim to ever raise funding. He credits this accelerated growth and historic fundraise to the company’s selection in a special incubation program by ALSiSAR Impact, a leading double bottom line and frontier market incubator across South Asia.

ALSiSAR Impact founder Anuj Sharma stated: “We see NE Origins as a powerful example of an impact-driven and scalable venture from the North East that highlights the positive effects of entrepreneurship in the region through its unique social commerce platform. Our mission with NE Origins is simple, to make the NorthEast a “producer economy”, and champion regional culture and diversity while providing countless livelihood opportunities.”

“I am excited about Rewaj and his team and was drawn in by the larger vision they shared about NE Origins and the role it could play in the Indian ecosystem.

As a longstanding public representative of the North East on the national and international stage, I believe that Rewaj’s venture can help to mainstream our heritage, culture, and history through his commitment to thoughtful community commerce, ” adds Indian football legend Bhaichung Bhutia

NE Origins is the brainchild of Rewaj Chettri, a first-generation entrepreneur with close to 30+ ventures under his belt. He has been at the forefront of entrepreneurship in the North East and was the first from the region to be listed on the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Asia and the distinction of receiving Sikkim’s highest civilian honor for his efforts to catalyze entrepreneurship in the state.

NE Origins company aims to make unique products sourced from North East India household names. From products like Naga King Chili (world’s 3rd hottest chili) from Nagaland, black rice from Manipur, 100% original Darjeeling Tea, to pure Lakadong Turmeric from Meghalaya, and original Nagaland Forest honey, they aim to provide a unique buying experience for customers across India.

NE Origins initially began as a response to support local entrepreneurs who were facing a muted tourist season brought on by pandemic lockdowns. In just a few months, hundreds of local businesses and producers were onboarded on the platform where they received critical support across marketing, packaging, and distribution- building capacity to deliver their certified organic and indigenous products across Indian and international markets.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi