Mumbai-based niche etailer of school and education-related products SkoolShop.com has raised an undisclosed amount in seed round funding from Blume Ventures and angel investors including Sunil Kalra, Srikant Shastri, Vikas Choudhary and Puneet Deora.
In December 2011, it had raised a angel in plc of seed from Jaspreet Bindra, Microsoft India's regional director of retail, entertainment and devices division and Rajan Anandan, head of Google India.
SkoolShop.com, run by Occasion Kommerce Pvt Ltd, was founded by Satya Raghavan, Sumant Kasliwal and Anthony Thottungal in October 2011.
Raghavan was a vice-president at Helion Advisors before starting SkoolShop. Prior to that, he was VP (marketing) at Star TV. However, the site doesn't list Kasliwal and Thottungal as part of the management team now. Anusha Mahalingam, another promoter on board, is a graduate of Harvard Business School and has over six years of work experience across consumer, retail, tech and healthcare sectors at McKinsey.
Earlier this month, early-stage VC fund Blume Ventures disclosed its investments in six startups, made during July-December 2012. Founded in 2010 by Sanjay Nath and Karthik Reddy, Blume Ventures has been doing a 1-2 investments on an average each month and works on a co-investment model to mitigate risks of early-stage investments.
SkoolShop's closest competitor is Delhi-based Allschoolstuff, which also deals in all the same categories of school and student supplies. Founded in November 2011, Allschoolstuff claims to be doing Gross Merchandise Value of Rs 1.5 crore per month. It is also a funded company backed by Delhi-based Angels Investors Consortium (AIC) and some private investors from whom it raised about $1 million. There are many horizontal players who offer one or two similar categories like stationary or books (Flipkart is one of them) but both of these players are the most prominent in niche play.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)