Ping, a conversational community commerce app, has raised $3.5 Mn in seed funding led by Elevation Capital. The fund raised will be used for platform innovation & development, strategic hiring, and expansion across all metropolitan cities in India.
Founded in July 2020 by Vartika Bansal, Ping is a community-first ecommerce platform that enables commerce and communication for agricultural producers, local manufacturers, and home-based business owners among the various residential communities.
Studies show that the rise of social media will have a significant effect on businesses and boost the ecommerce segment. Online shoppers in India are expected to reach more than 250 Mn owing to the growing social media engagements by 2022, according to IBEF.
Consumers today are connected to sellers through social networks like Whatsapp and Instagram, but it includes issues like maintaining multiple WhatsApp groups, the unreliability of vendors, inefficient payment channels and tracking, and disorganised delivery services.
Ping aggregates all the local commerce message groups on the app and enables businesses with verified makers in the residential communities. Residents can check for and exchange recommendations and buy together from the makers of their choice.
Commenting on the fundraise, Bansal said, “At Ping, we want to catalyse the growth of local entrepreneurship by empowering business owners to reach a larger pool of new and repeat customers. On the other hand, for consumers, our goal is to provide a verified selection of authentic local businesses to purchase from whilst allowing greater transparency in transactions.”
The startup’s app is currently operational in four metro cities, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Gurugram and Hyderabad, and has more than 400 active residential communities on its platform and plans to add over 3000 more.
According to an Inc42 report, conversational commerce is gaining popularity with the masses, and the market is set to reach $15 Bn by 2024. In India, companies involved in conversational commerce include yellow.ai, Gupshup, Reliance-owned Haptik, Verloop and others.