Mumbai-based loyalty and marketing startup m.paani on Wednesday (December 11) announced that it has raised $5.5 Mn in Series A funding.
The company said that the round has been led by AC Ventures, Henkel, Candy Ventures, Kevin Aluwi, CEO and cofounder of Gojek, Ryu Suliawan, head of merchants at Gojek, and Suvir Varma, board member and senior advisor at Bain & Company, Private Equity. Existing investors Chiratae Ventures and Blume Ventures also participated in the round.
Prior to this round, the company has raised $2.4 Mn from multiple investors and has been a part of Google Launchpad accelerator. The new funds will be used towards product development, accelerated growth and geographic expansion.
Founded in 2014 by Akanksha Hazari, m.paani is a marketing and data analytics startup that enables local retailers to attract customers with a mobile-based loyalty programme. It develops impact-focussed loyalty programmes that leverage mobile technology as a platform to provide key products and services to the local retailers and businesses, by connecting their spends with important loyalty points.
The company claims to have more than 50K retailers and 7 Mn consumers on its platform. The company further says that it is growing at over 30% per month, with a 25-member team. It claims that m.Paani has proven monetization via retailer subscriptions, delivering business growth of more than 25% to its most engaged retail partners.
Akanksha Hazari-Ericson, CEO and Founder of m.Paani, said, “We have always believed in the local retailer. They win on every consumer consideration: service, quality, product selection, value, credit and delivery speed. Small businesses also account for more than 40% of employment.”
m.Paani’s retailer product ‘Aapka Business Saathi’ is a full suite solution enabling local shops to go online, digitise their consumer relationships, access business data and insights, and manage their business operations more effectively.
Jesús Eduardo García Chapa, executive director of venture capital, AC Ventures said, “Their vision to foster local retailers is something we share and are absolutely convinced is a game-changer for the traditional trade channel and the retail industry.”
The Indian retail market is estimated to be $600 Bn and one of the top-five retail markets in the world by economic value. India is one of the fastest-growing retail markets in the world. It is expected to grow to $1,200 Bn by 2021.
At present, the country is also working on a new retail policy to support the development of the sector that would benefit 65 Mn small traders. According to the action plan, a large-scale programme for capacity building of managers of small businesses would be undertaken to improve productivity.