Bengaluru: Online marketplace Shop101 is in talks to raise $11-12 million in a Series B funding round led by Kalaari Capital and Unilever Ventures, according to three people close to the development. Stellaris Venture Partners, an existing investor, will also participate in the round. The funds will be used for technological development and expanding into new categories such as beauty and personal care, one of the persons cited above said on condition of anonymity.

Queries sent to Shop101 and Kalaari Capital remained unanswered till press time.

This development comes after Meesho, the largest player in the social e-commerce space, raised $50 million in Series C funding round from Shunwei Capital Partners, DST Partners and others.

Shop101, which enables entrepreneurs to sell online using WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram, was co-founded in 2015 by Abhinav Jain, an Indian Institute of Technology graduate.

The company raised $5 million from Stellaris Venture Partners, in Series A funding round, less than five months ago.

After souring on e-commerce start-ups for more than three years, investors are finally pumping capital again, with new companies such as GlowRoad, Shop101, EZmall and Meesho leading the next wave of e-commerce in India.

These social start-ups are riding on the user bases of social media platforms like WhatsApp or traditional media platforms to build e-commerce solutions for the next 200-300 million users in India.

According to a joint report by Google and KPMG in 2017, small and medium businesses going online could boost the country’s growth by 10 percentage points to 46-48% by 2020.

India’s consumer internet and e-commerce market exploded in 2014, but so far firms in the space have built their businesses only for the top 50-75 million shoppers in the country.

Growth in the sector has also not come at the breakneck speed that companies and investors originally predicted in 2015, at the height of the start-up-funding boom.

Even Flipkart and Amazon, the biggest e-commerce platforms, have far smaller user bases than social media companies.

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