Little Black Book (LBB), an online platform for local recommendations and discoveries has raised close to $1 Mn (INR 6.5 Cr) from Blume Ventures, and existing investors – IDG Ventures and IAN. The total investment raised by LBB now stands at $2.5 Mn (INR 16.5 Cr).
Founded in 2013, Delhi-based LBB, once a Tumblr blog, has grown to an independent recommendation platform to share and discover local businesses across the categories of food, shopping, events and activities.
On investing in LBB, Sanjay Nath, Managing Partner of Blume Ventures said, “What attracted us most to LBB was its dynamically curated approach to discovery – its integrated platform, augmented by a team of curators, has kept its loyal customer base sticky and growing at a fast pace. Further, it has been able to execute innovative and targeted campaigns for marquee brands, creating a recurring revenue stream.”
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LBB claims to have grown over 300% with respect to user-reach, over 500% with respect to revenue growth, and from one to eight cities in the last 12 months. In 2016, LBB had raised $1.2 Mn round of 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.
LBB: Scaling Up The Reach
Founded by Suchita Salwan & Dhruv Mathur, Little Black Book/LBB, currently, uses community-driven recommendations as a medium to drive an engaged audience of millennials to local places, services and experiences. The online platform reaches out to over 2 Mn users every month across eight cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai. LBB’s growth still today continues to be 80%-85% organically.
The fund will be used to scale up the user-base, informed Suchita. She said, “The fundraise is crucial, as we move into the next phase of growth which will primarily be focused on scaling our user-base, and strengthening our product promise to our consumers and customers.”
The local recommendation platform aims to go global. “International markets with a millennial audience is going to be the next big opportunity for us, along with closing the loop in between information, intent and transaction within our product itself. We’re excited to build LBB to be the de-facto destination for all local discoveries and recommendations, globally,” Suchita added.
With over 500 Mn smartphone users, Indian e-discovery market is next to ecommerce revolution. According to a market research by Markets and Markets, the segment is expected to reach $14 Bn at a CAGR of 15% by 2020. While investors like Blume Ventures, IDG Ventures, IAN and more are keen to invest in the segment, e-discovery existing platforms Bookmyshow, Zomato, LBB, and other players in the space have a decent chance to repeat the Flipkart saga.