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Little Black Book Gets $5 Mn From Japanese And Indian Investors

Little Black Book Gets $5 Mn From Japanese And Indian Investors

LBB will use the fresh funds to develop its machine learning technology for its discovery platform

It will also use the funds to focus on the integration of content and commerce

LBB connects users with local brands to develop their businesses

Delhi-headquartered Iluminar Media, which owns and operates digital media platform Little Black Book (LBB), has raised $5 Mn (INR 34.4 Cr) in Series A funding round, led by Inventus India and IAN Fund.

Investors from Japan such as Dream Incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and existing investors Blume Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures also participated in the round.

The fresh funds will be utilised to expand the technology and product team, with a focus on machine learning (ML) for discovery, and integration of content with commerce. The startup is also looking to strengthen its footprint in India by integrating discovery with commerce for small and medium size businesses.

For the uninitiated, LBB is a web and app-based platform which helps users discover and shop from independent brands and retailers. The startup was founded in 2013 by Dhruv Mathur and Suchita Salwan. Currently, the platform connects users to over 60K local brands and businesses across eight Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. The company claims to have a 350K monthly active users on its app

LBB is focused on integrating discovery with commerce for local brands and businesses. The platform provides recommendations on various subjects such as shopping, travel, adventure, food, gyms, health and much more.

It follows the concept of content to commerce, where it allows the user to read content and also purchase products through the platform. In order to do this, it partners with the local brands and connects them to the user.

Some of the important statistics about LBB:

  1. Over the last year, LBB has registered a growth of over 75% in revenue
  2. Till date, LBB has raised a total of $7.5 Mn
  3. LBB has partnered with over 500 brands
  4. Currently, more than 15,000 products are being sold via LBB

The company counts investors such as Capital Partners, IAN Fund, Dream Incubator, AET Fund, Blume Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures. Angel investors such as Rajan Anandan, Sachin Bhatia and Niraj Singh have also backed the company.

Prior to this, LBB had raised close to $1 Mn from Blume Ventures, and existing investors – IDG Ventures and IAN in 2017. In 2016, LBB had raised $1.2 Mn round in funding, led by venture capital firm IDG Ventures India, and Indian Angel Network (IAN). In 2015, they had raised a seed investment of $165,000 from a group of angel investors which included names like Rajan Anandan, Sachin Bhatia and others.

The Growth Of Digital Media Segment In India

According to a report by Statista, the digital media market is worth about $2.22 Bn in 2019. 

Some of the major players in the digital media segment, who are also offering content to commerce integration are The Better India, ScoopWhoop, and POPxo. In 2018, POPxo ventured into ecommerce with its private label merchandise. This will include products such as mugs, laptop bags, canvas pouches, and tote bags amongst others.