Mumbai: Hyderabad-based NowFloats Pvt. Ltd, which helps small and medium businesses (SMBs) create an online presence, has acquired Bengaluru-based Hatchery Software Pvt. Ltd which runs chat messaging start-up Lookup for an undisclosed amount.
“It was a cash and equity deal and we shall be making the official announcement in the next 20 days,” said Jasminder Singh Gulati, co-founder of NowFloats, over the phone. NowFloats is, meanwhile, looking to close its Series B round of funding this quarter, he said.
With this acquisition, 16 employees of the Lookup team will now be part of Nowfloats. Deepak Ravindran, co-founder of Lookup will be heading the conversational commerce vertical. The chat service will be integrated for all Nowfloats users and the Lookup app will continue to exist, giving NowFloats access to 1.2 million users and 90,000 merchants.
Lookup allows users to chat with local businesses by providing details on availability of a product or any information, service or support. It raised $2.5 million in a Series A (first) round of funding in 2015 that was led by Khosla Impact, a venture capital (VC) fund founded by Vinod Khosla, founder of Sun Microsystems Inc., with participation of Twitter Inc. co-founder Biz Stone; Catamaran Ventures, backed by Infosys Ltd co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy; and Global Founders Capital, among others.
NowFloats, founded in 2012 by Gulati, Nitin Jain, Ronak Kumar Samantray and Neeraj Sabharwal, helps SMEs create websites.
“We manage the content, running of the website prompting contextual content and other things for the companies,” adds Gulati. The company charges an annual fee of Rs.20,000 and works with over 250,000 small businesses.
The company wants to reach 1 million businesses and 10 million users by the end of the current financial year. Over the next year, it plans to invest in technology and expand its current market share organically and through acquisitions.