Noida-headquartered social commerce platform Mall91 has announced that it has raised $7.5 Mn in a Series A funding round. The investment has been led by Go-Ventures with participation from Beenext, Kalaari Capital, and AngelList India.
Mall91 aims to leverage these funds to drive business growth and augment its product development and roadmap execution. The company aims to solidify its presence as the one-stop-shop for the next 400 Mn internet users in India. It is also eyeing international expansion opportunities.
Mall91: Rooting For Tier 2/3 Markets
Founded in 2018 by Nitin Gupta, Mall91 is a social commerce platform which combines various functions onto one platform, including gaming, video, chat, and social shopping features. The platform plans on expanding to other top eight local languages of India.
With the latest capital infusion, Mall91 seeks to amplify its supply chain capabilities domestically and internationally while also expanding its engineering, operations, marketing, and support teams.
Aditya Kumar, VP Investments, Go-Ventures said, “We are impressed by the unique and innovative platform approach that Nitin and his team have taken to solve the challenges of digital commerce inclusion for the next 400 Mn internet users in India.”
The company claims to have high-frequency purchases and high engagement on the app platform. It claims to have reached over 2000 tier two, three and four cities, towns and villages across India.
“We believe there is a huge untapped aspirational spend from Bharat that is not yet captured online. It requires a fundamentally different approach to product, user acquisition and logistics to drive user adoption and deliver products & services in economically viable way. Mall91 with its unique market insights and approach has within a very short span witnessed rapid user adoption, “ said Darshit Vora, principle, Kalaari Capital.
Increasing Interest In Social Commerce
With more than 500 Mn Indians relying on the Internet for their day-to-day life, shopping online has become an inherent choice. Interestingly, according to Statista, over 2.14 Bn people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online by 2021.
The social ecommerce startups leverage the user base of social media platforms such as WhatsApp or traditional media platforms to build ecommerce solutions for its customers which are more friendly and personalised. Even though they were expected to have lower acquisition costs, the results have been lukewarm.
Social Commerce is seeing a sudden pickup in interest from investors in 2019. India’s biggest player Meesho recently closed a $125 Mn funding round led by Naspers, with participation from Facebook and existing investors SAIF, Sequoia, Shunwei Capital, RPS and Venture Highway.
Recently, regional social commerce company, DealShare, raised around $8 Mn in its Series A round of funding led by Matrix Partners India and Falcon Edge Capital.
The social commerce category where DealShare, Meesho, Glowroad and Shop101 operate is expected to grow multifold in India with its tightly-knit social network and large extended families.