Bengaluru-based social commerce platform GlowRoad has raised $10 Mn in a Series B round of funding led by China-based CDH Investments with participation from Accel Partners and two other international and Asian funds.
Talking to Inc42, Kunal Sinha, cofounder and CEO of GlowRoad said that the company plans to use the funds for growth which include growing business, marketing, loyalty programmes, technology stack, product development and also strengthen the supply chain.
Founded in June 2017 by Sonal Verma, Kunal Sinha, Nitesh Pant, Shekhar Sahu and Nilesh Padariya is a social commerce network which enables suppliers to sell their products to end customers through resellers across more than 400 cities globally.
The company enables women to earn from home by starting a reselling business at zero investment, at the same time providing suppliers a great channel to grow their business rapidly. The company claims to reach more than 100K resellers, over 20K suppliers and more than 300K buyers.
Sinha said that the company has grown from 15-20 transactions per day last year to 15K transactions every day. He attributes the growth to $2.8 Mn the company raised in September 2017 from Accel Partners and believes the company has been growing in a capital-efficient manner as it has recorded 1000% growth with $2.8 Mn instead of over $10 Mn -$12 Mn funding other players would need to achieve the same growth.
The company is also completely focussed on growth over profitability as Sinha believes that growth and profit may not be synonymous all the time.
Giving the breakdown of customers, Sinha shared that almost 50-55% users are women, almost 20% are students (mainly girls) and last 20-25% are men. He shared that the company reaches nearly 1.5 Lakh women every month, and the company’s repeat rates are very high.
He shared that some good resellers come 30-40 times a month because of the stickiness of the platform being a investment-free digital catalogue.
Going forward, the company aims to cross 100K transactions every day with the fresh funding.
Talking about CDH’s interest in the company, Sinha shared that CDH has recently started exploring India but has made a similar bet in the Chinese market— Yunji which has filed for its IPO in the US last week. “Yunji is doing similar stuff as us and in 4-5 years has reached a GMV of $8 Bn-$9 Bn, CDH found a similar thing in us beyond the business idea and that’s why has invested in us,” Sinha explained.
India’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $220 Bn by 2025 and the market is seeing disruption due to government policies with the draft ecommerce policy in works and recent changes in the FDI policy for ecommerce. But Sinha believes the restrictions are a good move and GlowRoad won’t be much affected but their sellers might face some issues due to exclusive partnerships etc.
According to a report by Zinnov, one of the main beneficiaries of Indian ecommerce will be women running businesses from home.The consulting firm says about two million women have already made $9 Bn in gross sales by reselling clothing and lifestyle products online, and that the number of “housewife resellers” is expected to increase to 21 Mn to 23 Mn by 2022.
Sinha also emphasised that the market is growing exponentially and this stands true with players such as Shopify, Meesho, Shopmatic etc exploring the social commerce market in India.