The fresh funding was led by Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator program, Surge, and other investors included India Quotient and Taurus Ventures
Social community platform for women, Pankhuri, on Tuesday announced that it has raised $3.2 million (about ₹23 crore) as part of fresh funding led by Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator program, Surge.
Other investors, including India Quotient and Taurus Ventures, also participated in the round.
Founded in 2019, Pankhuri is a platform for women in India to network, learn and shop through live streaming, chat, and cohort-based sessions. The platform enables women to be active participants in online beauty and lifestyle conversations instead of being passive consumers.
The platform currently provides users with information on topics such as beauty and personal care through various video formats, such as live and short videos, while encouraging ongoing conversation with expert creators through hosted live sessions.
“For many women, the thought of going online can be a daunting experience, given the rise in online bullying and trolling. Pankhuri was created with the ambition to break down these barriers faced by millions of women in India, while improving their digital literacy and empowering them to regain their right to expression," said Pankhuri Shrivastava, chief executive and founder, Pankhuri.
While there are over 240 million digitally connected women in India, only 27% of them use social media in the country, said the company in a statement.
Pankhuri currently boasts a completion rate of 95% for its live-streamed sessions and has a community of over 250,000 active women of which more than 60% have transacted via micropayments on the platform since January 2021.
"Beauty products and services are one of the first high involvement verticals which will get disrupted. The characteristics of the vertical include high average order value, very sticky users and curiosity for newer products and trends, making creator-driven social commerce a promising opportunity," said Madhukar Sinha, founding partner, India Quotient.
Angel investors that have invested in Pankhuri include ShareChat co-founder, Farid Ahsan; Cred founder Kunal Shah, and co-founder of Mobile Premier League, Sai Srinivas.
The startup was a part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals work, live and learn better in a rapidly evolving post-pandemic world.
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