Bangalore-based mobile tech startup, SmartPocket, that connects offline businesses to loyal customers, has raised seed funding of about INR 1.5 Cr. from early-stage investment firm Sol Primero. Rajiv Mehta of Arvind Group, also participated in this round of funding.
SmartPocket, a mobile app connects brick-n-mortar businesses to their loyal customers. The company was started out as a digital pocket of loyalty cards, automatically figures out the loyalty memberships a user holds using her phone number. These cards are stacked on SmartPocket app updated with points and personalized offers.
The startup plans to use the funds raised in product development, acquiring users and form partnerships with offline businesses.
SmartPocket was founded by Goldman Sachs alum Kiran Shastri and Mayank Shah in April-2014, the company has managed to bag PUMA, PEOPLE and Peter England as their partner brands. Further, It aims to reach a user base of over half a million by the year end and and achieve a 100% increase rate in merchant tie ups month-on-month.
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Kiran, the CEO, says “Companies use loyalty programs to engage with customers, but how many carry cards or know the value it brings to them. Traditional players also need to take a cue from modern e-commerce players who engage with customers at opportune time using mobile push notifications and social media. SmartPocket is a marketplace for repeat business that brings in all such tools, but positions the brand right in front of the users.”
The startup is being mentored by retail industry stalwarts Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India (RAI) and Rajiv Mehta, who started PUMA’s business in India from scratch.
SmartPocket was incubated under Nasscom10K program, has also been picked by Google for its first mentorship programme in the country—Google LaunchPad.
Ravi Gururaj, Chairman of Nasscom Product Council and chief mentor at the Start-up Warehouse says, “Kiran and Mayank at SmartPocket have developed a holistic digital wallet experience that aligns brilliantly with what modern consumers desire and demand. Their innovative solution distinguishes itself by seamlessly bridging legacy with the latest digital technologies to integrate all brand interactions, loyalty cards & points, transaction & payments histories, memberships and identity. SmartPocket’s ability to deliver a comprehensive set of merchant integrations within a delightfully simple mobile user experience makes it a winning combination.”
As part of the deal Presha Paragash of Sol Primero, who has earlier invested in Zostel and Ridingo, will be joining the boards of the company. Presha says that the loyalty industry in India is mired by the painful usage of plastic cards and tracking of points. “We believe that the SmartPocket product has the ability to drive out inefficiencies of carrying multiple loyalty cards in one’s wallet. As the customer engagement in India moves beyond plastic and points, we believe that the team has the experience and understanding required to build a product that will be the winner in this space,” she added.
Sol Primero is an early stage investment company which has been set up by two recent Wharton MBA graduates, Presha Paragash and Shweta Singh.