CityMall, a startup that helps budding entrepreneurs start their ventures on WhatsApp, has raised over $22 million
- CityMall has raised $22.5 million in Series B round led by General Catalyst and Jungle Ventures.
- The company will also look into expanding its logistics network to cater to the demand of its customers.
- Meesho continues to be the highest funded social commerce startup, with more than $500 million in external funding till date.
The Gurugram-based startup had closed its Series A round led by Accel Partners at $11 million earlier in March, this year. Overall, CityMall has raised a funding of $36.5 million since its inception in 2019.
This round has catapulted CityMall to the position of the third most funded startup in the nascent social commerce segment. Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce that relies on social media and other online media to drive sales.
AdvertisementCurrently, it is led by Meesho with a funding of over $515 million and a unicorn tag. It is followed by DealShare that has raised about $144 million to date. A unicorn, in startup parlance, is a privately held firm with a valuation of more than $1 billion.
|Top funded social commerce startups in India|
|Meesho||$515 million||SoftBank Vision Fund, Facebook, Sequoia Capital|
|DealShare||$144 million||Falcon Edge Capital, Matrix Partners India, Tiger Global, InnoVen|
|Glowroad||$31.3 million||Accel, Korea Investment Partners, Vertex Ventures, ADH Investments|
|CityMall||$36.5 million||General Catalyst, Jungle Ventures, Accel, Elevation Capital|
|SimSim||$15.5 million||Accel India, Shunwei Capital, Good Capital|
CityMall plans to use this fresh funding towards expanding its current workforce of 700 by hiring 150 employees, enhancing technology and building its logistics network that will include warehouses and hubs. It also plans to strengthen its presence in the existing 40 towns and expand into 100 new towns in the coming months.
The company, founded by Angad Kikla and Naisheel Verdhan, enables micro-entrepreneurs (known as community leaders on the platform) to set up their virtual stores on WhatsApp and sell products to their close networks using ecommerce tools and customer analytics.
Commenting on the latest fundraise, CityMall’s founder Kikla said, “We are building CityMall with a vision to transform their [users] experience with the internet -- by providing them with access to earning opportunities as well as affordable products and services.”
Meanwhile, Verdhan added that the company aims to build a decentralised ecommerce ecosystem for the next 200-300 million internet users living in India’s small towns and villages. Notably, the company’s target audience are users from Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV regions of the country.
AdvertisementEarlier, it focused on providing affordable everyday products like groceries and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) more to its customers. However, it recently expanded horizontally to offer electronics, electrical appliances, cosmetics and apparels.
According to the previous press notes shared by the company, it has built a network of 20,000 community leaders who are catering to the needs of 2 lakh customers across communities. The company claims that its model, while offering traditional ecommerce services, helps avoid major customer acquisition as well as logistics cost.
"As internet penetration reaches beyond metros and into smaller cities and communities, new and innovative social commerce models like CityMall have the potential to offer consumers better buying experiences through right assortment, price points, and support while democratising entrepreneurship opportunities for millions,” Alex Tran, partner at General Catalyst, said.
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