WhatsApp integrated merchant e-commerce platform Bikayi has raised $2 million as a part of its seed round of funding, from a clutch of international investors including early stage fund, Mantis Ventures, Y Combinator, Pioneer Fund, amongst other notable angels.
The company will use the funds for growth and expansion by hiring more talent and onboarding newer merchants on its platform.
The year-old venture allows small businesses to quickly create their online stores and give them the right tools to manage e-commerce on the Whatsapp platform. At present the Bikayi app is only available on Google Play Store.
“We are elated that prominent investors showed interest in Bikayi . In this process they are a part of upscaling Bikayi. With these funds we will hire more talent to accelerate product development, ramp up the platform and onboard a million new merchants,” said Sonakshi Nathani, co-founder, Bikayi.
“Bikayi is the company I am most excited about in the entire YC batch — they have a tremendous opportunity to become the storefront of choice for the millions of small local businesses in India — and eventually the entire developing world. They make commerce both local and personal, which is integral for success in India, and their growth numbers speak for themselves,” said Ankur Nagpal, an angel Investor who also participated in the latest round of funding.
Currently, more than 53% of Bikayi’s merchants are coming from Tier 3 & 4 cities.
The covid-induced lockdown completely disrupted supply chains, earlier this year, causing even large e-commerce firms to rely on Indian kiranas for making delivery of essentials to customers. This has opened an opportunity for digitising kiranas and equipping them with technology services around reconciliation, digital payments, store accounting, digital credit and other areas.
Recently e-commerce major, Amazon India in June, announced the launch of its digital kirana solution – ‘Smart Stores’, , which allowed kiranas to have a digital storefront. Through the launch of ‘Smart Stores’, Amazon Pay allowed users to explore the products available with the kirana, and shop the same by either paying through UPI or converting the transaction amount into an EMI.
This article was first published on livemint.com.