Social commerce startup enMarkit has roped in Murli Ravi, former head of investments for South and Southeast Asia at venture capital firm JAFCO Investments—which manages funds of more than $750 million—as a non-executive director. As part of his new role, Ravi will advise the startup on strategy and business expansion.
Vipin Agarwal, co-founder and CEO, enMarkit, said, "Ravi brings with him his rich investment experience as well as his extensive network across multiple industries. In addition, his engineering background means he understands the technical side of our business. This is especially helpful when discussing our business strategy."
A seasoned venture capital professional, Ravi has overseen investments in over 20 companies across India, Australia, the US (both the San Francisco Bay Area and New York) and Singapore. At JAFCO, his portfolio companies spanned a wide range of industries, with his main sectors of interest being enterprise software, ad tech, media, analytics, telecom and other B2B & B2B2C areas where software plays a key role.
He had earlier also served on the boards of companies like Vriti Infocom Pvt Ltd, CustomerXPs Software Pvt Ltd, Mistral Solutions Pvt Ltd, Consilium Software, Microqual Techno Pvt Ltd, and Unmetric. He holds a BE degree in electrical engineering from National University of Singapore, and a degree in computational finance from Tepper School of Business - Carnegie Mellon University (the US).
The Singapore-based startup was co-founded by Agarwal and Ekta Mittal (CTO) in 2012. The company increases sales on e-commerce sites by engaging online shoppers and rewarding them for sharing reviews. Using enMarkit's product, e-commerce sites can understand their customers buying interests, identify influential visitors and evaluate the value each customer brings to the site. This information is then used to automatically create a shortlist of items based on the customer's individual buying habits and tastes.
"Google tells you how many people have visited your site; Facebook tells you who they were. We can tell you what they were looking for," said Agarwal. By federating and sharing data, small e-commerce players are able to punch above their weight and provide many of the 'big data' personalisation features that larger e-commerce sites like Amazon.com offer.
"enMarkit brings together transactional insights as well as customer engagement technologies to create a very personalised experience for online users on ecommerce websites. It's a powerful tool for all e-commerce companies," said Ravi. The startup was introduced to him at the 100-day startup bootcamp programme operated by JFDI.Asia, a Singapore-based startup business accelerator. enMarkit was one of the 10 startups that had joined the accelerator's programme in late 2013.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)