Social commerce startup Mall91 on Monday said it has raised $7.5 million in a Series A round, reflecting heavy investor interest in the space.
The investment was led by Go-Ventures, the investment arm of ride-hailing firm GoJek, one of Southeast Asia’s most valued startups. Other investors included its existing backers — venture capital firms Beenext, Kalaari Capital, and AngelList India.
Mall91’s social commerce platform combines various functions onto one platform, including gaming, video, chat, and social shopping features. It is targeting the next 400 million users who speak various regional languages across Tier 2,3 and 4 cities in India.
Mall91 plans to use the funds to grow the business by expanding to other top 8 local languages, amplify its supply chain capabilities domestically and internationally while also expanding its engineering, operations, marketing, and support teams, said co-founder and CEO Nitin Raj Gupta.
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 are 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.
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.
This article was first published on livemint.com.