Delhi-based fashion ecommerce platform Marsplay has raised an undisclosed amount of Pre-Series A funding. The investment was led by Venture Highway with participation from Alvin Tse from Xiaomi; Jonathan Lau, partner, Cadorna Ventures.
Existing angel investors such as the personal offices of Shailesh Rao, a partner with TPG Growth, and Nikhil Mohta, director, ICICI Ventures also followed on in this round. The company’s seed round was led by Amit Agrawal, former YouTube India Head, Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO, Bounce, and Shamir Karkal, Founder Simple.com, among others.
The company plans to use the funds to build its product engineering team and build a strong creator community.
Marsplay: Over 100K Downloads And More
Founded in 2017 by Ayush Shukla and Misbah Ashraf, Marsplay enables users to directly buy products from influencers’ looks. The company says it is revolutionising fashion shopping, by moving it away from catalogues to a personalised, curated, visual feed of fashion trends from circle of acquaintances and local community.
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“We envisioned a platform that provided easy-to-shop fashion advice on ‘What to wear’ and ‘When to wear’ that was crowdsourced from a community passionate about fashion and beauty,” said Misbah Ashraf, cofounder, Marsplay.
The company didn’t share the figures of its users and influencers on its platform, but it has over 100K downloads on Google Play Store.
“More consumers are now seeking inspiration for fashion trends from people who are more relatable than celebrity influencers. In Marsplay, we have found a single platform that provides users with a seamless discovery of fashion trends and the ability to purchase their chosen product with a single click,” said Samir Sood, founder of Venture Highway.
Influencer Shopping In India
The Indian online fashion market is estimated to hit $12 Bn-$14 Bn by 2020, and according to Technavio, it is expected to grow “impressively” at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 63% by 2020.
With the rise of social media and ecommerce platforms, more and more users are buying apparel online, including from homegrown brands. This includes Chumbak, TheSouledStore, Bewakoof, Disrupt, Happily Unmarried and more. All these companies have grown from small social media pages to big brands which resonate with the youth of India.
Further, with influencer marketing becoming one of the leading promotional activities for brands, the fashion influencers are being leveraged across platforms. For example, Instagram launched its shopping feature, enabling users to buy products directly from the app.
Recently, Walmart-owned Flipkart launched Flipkart Ideas. On Flipkart Ideas, content from brands and influencers will be showcased with associated products from Flipkart, in all multimedia formats such as videos, GIFs, images, stories, quizzes and polls.
The user-savvy content will enable consumers to know more about products and brands. It is also expected to aid customers in understanding ongoing trends across categories, thus, ensuring better brand recall.