Business News/ Companies / News/  Trell raises $45 million from Mirae Asset, H&M Group, others

Social commerce platform Trell has raised $45 million in a Series B round of funding led by financial group Mirae Asset, H&M Group, and co-led by LB Investments. Previous investors, along with KTB Network, Samsung Ventures, and Fosun RZ Capital have also participated in this round, the company said on Monday.

With the latest funding, the lifestyle-focused social commerce platform—that offers content in eight regional languages—has raised $62 million to date.

Trell is planning to utilize the capital to further develop its artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies across regional languages apart from growing the team. The funds will also help with the growth of community and commerce initiatives, the company said.

By the end of this fiscal, the social commerce platform is looking to launch in six more languages and expand its footprint to over 2,000 cities and towns in India.

Trell’s user base swelled as India’s ban of Chinese short video app TikTok came into force last year. This prompted the popularity of several homegrown short video platforms in the country.

'Over the last few months, we have been leveraging our in-house AI and ML technology and neural networks to create user psychographics based on their behavioural patterns on the platform. This enables us to provide personalized content and product recommendations for them," said Arun Lodhi, Co-founder and CTO, Trell.

Trell has over 45 million monthly active users and over 100 million downloads. It provides a platform for users to connect with individuals, discover lifestyle trends and share content around their interests across categories such as beauty, fashion, wellness, health, food, TV reviews, travel, and gadgets, among others.

In August 2020, Trell also launched its social commerce section on the app—this helps users watch personalised product recommendations across beauty, personal care and wellness categories. They can then purchase products from within the app.

Trell has on boarded over 500 personal care and beauty brands— including Maybelline, L'Oréal and Garnier over the past few months.

A recent report by Jefferies said social commerce is set to become more mainstream in the country. Currently, the segment is still small at $1.5-2 billion.

An earlier report by Bain and Co. and Sequoia India pegged social commerce in India to touch $16-20 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) over the next five years.

The popularity and emergence of social commerce comes as more Indians are moving online and discovering newer ways of shopping.

Companies such as WhatsApp and Instagram are monetizing too; apart from a clutch of start-ups such as Meesho, Mall91, Shop101, Dealshare, and Bulbul.

Brands, on the other hand, are monetizing the reach of such platforms and engage with content creators across different apps and languages.

"Trell has become the launchpad for many up-and-coming D2C brands and advertisers, who are leveraging our community of regional content creators to advertise their products and services on the platform," said Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Co-founder and COO, Trell.

Trell intends to engage with over 2,000 brands through regional content creators by 2022, he said.

Social Commerce is a very interesting and growing space within the retail industry in India and globally, said Nanna Anderson, Head of H&M CO:LAB, H&M Group’s investment arm.

Suneera Tandon
Suneera Tandon is a New Delhi based reporter covering consumer goods for Mint. Suneera reports on fast moving consumer goods makers, retailers as well as other consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and malls. She is deeply interested in what consumers across urban and rural India buy, wear and eat. Suneera holds a masters degree in English Literature from the University of Delhi.
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Updated: 12 Jul 2021, 06:55 PM IST
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