Mumbai: DealShare, a startup that uses social media to offer group-buying discounts on household items, said on Thursday it has raised as much as $11 million in a Series A round led by venture capital firm Matrix Partners and the US-based Falcon Edge Capital.
Partners of DST Global, impact investor Omidyar Network, and other angel investors participated in the round as well.
Founded in September 2018, the social commerce startup focuses on middle and lower income population segments belonging to non-metro, Tier 2 and 3 cities, and claims to have over 30,000 customers in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the two states where it is present.
“We will expand to Maharashtra soon and also see a huge opportunity in eastern India, which we are evaluating," said Vineet Rao, chief executive officer and head of technology, DealShare, over phone.
The fresh funds will be utilized for city expansion, developing artificial intelligence based solutions and an indigenous logistics network. DealShare will expand to 100 cities across more than 10 states in the next one year.
“We could not find a cheap and last-mile logistics solution, which led us to develop it in-house. In addition to our core business, the logistics business will also enhance our intellectual property (IP) and value addition," Rao said.
Navroz D. Udwadia, co-founder and partner of Falcon Edge, said “DealShare brings together a focused assortment that is differentially procured. This, when coupled with the delight of discovery and a gamified shopping experience, drives robust repeat usage and cohort behaviour. These factors coupled with creative first principles driven fulfilment drive exciting unit economics."
Social commerce startups have seen rising investor interest over the past year or so, as these firms seek to tap into small-town India, which has large user bases and is coming online and using social media more than ever before.
Meesho, a platform that connects manufacturers with re-sellers, who eventually sell these products to users through social media platforms, raised $120 million in a funding round in August this year led by South African media and internet giant Naspers. Other firms include Mumbai-based Shop101 and Bengaluru-based GlowRoad. Shop101 last raised $11 million from Kalaari Capital and Unilever Ventures in December. GlowRoad raised $10 million in April in a round led by China’s CDH, along with participation from existing investor Accel Partners.
Sequoia Capital’s accelerator program Surge, announced its second batch on Wednesday. This too had a social commerce startup, Chilibeli, which connects farmers, suppliers and consumers through the company’s network of agents to bring products to households.