Gurgaon based product research startup for gadgets, 91mobiles.com has raised close to USD 1 Mn in a pre-Series A round from a group of investors led by India Quotient.
The round also saw the participation of Umang Kumar, founder & CEO of Gaadi.com, and Krishna Motukuri, ex-CEO of Tradus.com.
The startup plans to use the raised funds for expanding the team, developing better research tools & content for the mobiles & tablets categories, and building a similar research experience for other gadget categories like wearables, laptops, cameras, and accessories.
Further, the funds will also be used to upgrade the existing mobile site and launch an Android application, as close to 50% of 91mobiles’ traffic is already coming from mobile devices.
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Founded by Bharanidharan Viswanathan and Nitin Mathur, 91mobiles provides information & interactive tools to help users research which mobile phone or gadget best suits their needs. Currently, it gets over 7.5 Mn visitors per month.
India is the fastest-growing smartphone market in Asia (186% growth in units shipped in Q1 2014, as per IDC), and has seen a recent influx of several brands and devices. There are over a 100 brands, and 2,000 smartphones available in the Indian market today. While there are sites that cover the latest happenings in this space, and price comparison sites that help users research the best price, what’s missing are good sites that help users research the best device for their needs, from among the many options.
91mobiles aims to fill this gap by providing users tools & content to help research available gadget options and narrow down to the most suitable choice.
The Phone Finder tool on the website powers over 100,000 searches every day, and provides listing of all available devices and their key specs. Apart from providing the details including the best prices and deals from various online retailers, the startup also caters to the people who research online, but prefer to buy from a physical store by providing them option to find a verified list of stores near their location. This service is currently available for around 1,000 stores in the major metro cities, but will be extended pan-India.
91mobiles drives close to $100 Mn of gadget sales to retailers listed on the site, and earns affiliate revenue from online gadget retailers, including Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, etc. With this, it also works with the gadget & telecom brands, such as Samsung, Micromax, Asus, Dell, Airtel etc. to provide advertising and branding solutions to promote their range of products to 91mobiles’ gadget enthusiast user-base.
91mobiles was launched in mid-2010, with reach of 30,000 users per day, in its first year of launch. The user-base has doubled every year since then, to reach over 250,000 users per day in 2014. It’s annual (net) revenue run-rate of over USD 1 Mn, and is aiming for 3-4X growth in the next two years.