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Deals app Little strengthens upper deck

Manish Chopra, Wishy Arora and Suraj Panigrahy

Manish Chopra, Wishy Arora and Suraj Panigrahy

Deals discovery app Little, which counts Zovi.com’s founders Manish Chopra and Satish Mani as promoters, has strengthened its top management with two new appointments.

The startup, run by Bangalore-based Little Internet Pvt Ltd, has appointed Suraj Panigraphy as VP (sales and merchant acquisition) and Wishy Arora as VP of products, as per a press statement.

“Both (Panigrahy and Arora) will be key to scaling Little rapidly and making it, the de-facto ‘go-to’ mobile app in the online-to-offline (O2O) space. The new appointments are an indication of the kind of ambitious people plans at Little and there will be more to come soon,” said Chopra, CEO and co-founder of Little.

Before joining Little, Panigrahy co-founded 69 Seconds, a startup in the quick service restaurant or QSR space. He has worked with companies such as Wipro, Hexaware and NTT Data in the past. On the other hand, Arora is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow. Till recently, he was senior product manager at online travel agency Cleartrip.

Little is a mobile marketplace for deals related to offline merchants. It covers restaurants, movies, hotels, salons, gyms, spas and others. Currently, Little offers deals from over 5,000 merchants. The company hopes to have over 50,000 live deals across 11 cities on its app by March 2016, the statement said. It expects to hit a GMV facilitation run rate of $170 million (over Rs 1,000 crore) by the current year end.

In July, Little managed to raise $50 million (Rs 318 crore) from One97Communications, which runs mobile commerce venture Paytm, and an unnamed large investor. It is not clear if the funding amount captures existing investors in Zovi rolling over their exposure in the fashion label to Little.

As part of the funding, Little will power the deals platform on Paytm.

Little’s co-founder Mani, a former senior vice-president (technology) at Cleartrip, started fashion e-tailer Zovi in 2010 along with Kavindra Mishra and Sartaj Mehta. Started as an online menswear private label brand, the company added women’s wear and accessories later on. In 2012, it appointed Microsoft Indonesia’s chief marketing and operations officer, Manish Chopra as new CEO.

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