Delhi-based one-year-old start-up Santa Claus Couriers Pvt Ltd, which operates its e-commerce logistics business under Chhotu.in, has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from the Global Super Angels.
Prior to starting the venture, Singh worked as a software engineer at Clickable Softwares while Agarwal was a partner at Raasa, which aimed to become a large fruit and vegetable retailer in India. Although the company was started in the end of 2010, it went live in June 2011.
The angel round of investment has come from the Global Super Angels which currently has 13 members and was founded by Rajesh Sawhney, president of Reliance Entertainment. Other members include the who's who of venture capital and mobile Internet business â€“ prolific angel investor Sasha Mirchandani from Kae Capital; Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications; Dinesh Agarwal of IndiaMart.com; Ravi Adusumalli of SAIF Partners; Deep Kalra, founder & CEO of MakeMyTrip.com; Naveen Tewari of InMobi; Murugavel Janakiraman, founder of Bharatmatrimony.com and Rajan Mehta of LiveMedia.
As part of the investment, Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Dinesh Agarwal will be joining the company's board as director and board observer, respectively.
"The funding will be utilised for expanding operations to more cities and also for horizontal growth. "We currently offer warehousing services to many e-commerce merchants but in the near future, we are looking to enter the packaging services market as well," said Navneet Singh, co-founder and CEO of Chhotu.in. Currently, a 100-plus people company, it is also looking to hire more team member with the funds raised.
"Right now, we are delivering only in Delhi, but we will launch inter-state deliveries soon â€“ so that you can get things delivered to other cities like Bangalore, even if you are in Delhi," he added. The firm will also start its operations in Mumbai.
The company is looking to raise series A funding at the end Q2 2012, according to Singh.
Chhotu.in has around 30 e-commerce companies as partners, including Fashionandyou.com, Zovi.com, Urbantouch.com,Healthcar.com, 99labels.com, Myntra.com and Lenskart.com, among others. Online retailers focusing on lifestyle products form the majority of its partners as of now. It is handling around 800 transactions daily, with a monthly transaction value ranging from Rs 75 lakh to Rs 1 crore.
Besides its core business of last mile logistics, the company is also planning to enter some interesting allied services including one where one can buy virtual services for cash on delivery (COD).
"For example, Bharatmatrimony.com has a free account and a premium account. So for people who don't have credit cards or want to avail the service by opting for COD, Chhotu.in will bring it to them. We will personally go and collect the money and update it on the Bharatmatrimony website," said Singh.
The firm is also planning a feature called daily-deals, under which deals with 24 hours validity and featured on various sites, such as Snapdeal, will be delivered on the same day, again in COD mode. Therefore, the money will be physically collected and the coupon will be received by the customer via e-mail after the payment confirmation by Chhotu.in.
In a space where e-tailers are springing up almost on a daily basis, logistics support is crucial for industry growth. Keep watching this space for more on Chhotu.in and other such interesting start-ups.