Online discovery and shopping platform Little Black Book (LBB) on Wednesday said that it has raised $5 million in Series-A funding round led by venture capital firm Inventus India and Indian Angel Network (IAN) Fund.
The capital raised will be used to expand the technology and product team for deeper penetration in the Indian market, LBB said.
Founded in 2013 by Suchita Salwan, a former executive at BBC India, and Dhruv Mathur, former consultant at Deloitte, the platform claims to have about 60,000 local brands and businesses that connect with over three million LBB users across eight markets including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai.
Japanese investors Dream incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and existing investors Blume Venture, and Chiratae Ventures also participated in the round.
“In a relatively short time since its inception, LBB has emerged as the preferred platform for new-age Indians to discover engaging local activities, experiences, and independent brands in their cities," said Saurabh Srivastava, co-founder, IAN Fund.
Before venturing into online shopping LBB was only a discovery platform where lesser-known restaurants, upcoming activities and shopping places, around the city, would get featured. The platform later started on boarding local small and medium sellers.
Till date LBB has raised a total of $7.5 million. Angel investors including Rajan Anandan, former head at Google India, and travel portal Makemytrip’s co-founder Sachin Bhatia, among others, have also invested in the company.
Lately content platforms have also started venturing into marketplaces as generating revenue is challenging only on the back of online advertisements. Providing online shopping with content has become a new way of monetization.
PopXo, which initially started as a content platform featuring female-focused articles, started providing curated products on its platform. Similarly, in January, positive news platform, The Better India, also launched an online marketplace to onboard small and medium enterprises.