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CashKaro gets $4M in Series A funding from Kalaari

VCCircle_CashKaro11CashKaro, an online platform for cashback and digital coupons, has raised $4 million (Rs 25 crore) in Series A funding from venture capital firm Kalaari Capital and existing investors.

The startup, which is operated by UK- and India-based Pouring Pounds Pvt Ltd, will use the money raised to enhance its technology backbone, expand overseas and up marketing.

“CashKaro perfectly represents India’s love for savings and will play a key role in the growth of the e-commerce market. There are billion dollar cashback businesses globally and we believe with Swati and Rohan helming CashKaro, we can achieve similar scale in Asia,” Rajesh Raju, managing director at Kalaari Capital, said in a press statement. He added that the e-commerce market in India will grow to about $100 billion over the next decade.

The startup was founded in February 2011 by the husband-wife duo of Rohan and Swati Bhargava, both London School of Economics graduates. Rohan had previously worked at Aladdin Capital, managing a $1 billion portfolio of structured credit assets, while Swati was an employee of Goldman Sachs in London. Initially, the couple had launched a cash back and coupon site in the UK under the brand name Pouringpounds.com. In November 2012, they launched the India-focused site Cashkaro.com.

CashKaro offers coupons of various e-commerce companies as well as cashback on purchases made via CashKaro. The company earns commission on a per sale basis and brands pay the firm a percentage on every sale done via the portal. Cashkaro keeps a certain margin and passes on the rest to the end consumer.

In the next few months, the CashKaro founders expect the company to clock GMV of Rs 1,000 crore.

The company claims it has credited about Rs 20 crore as cashback since inception and is growing at over 30 per cent every month. In 2013, CashKaro had raised $750,000 from a group of London-based investors working with companies such as Paypal, Investec and Goldman Sachs among others.

Cashkaro competes with the likes of Rocket Internet-backed CupoNation, CouponRaja, CouponDunia, MyDala and other players. In September, LafaLafa, a mobile-first digital coupons and cashback aggregator, secured $125,000 in funding from Silicon Valley-headquartered startup accelerator-cum-early stage VC fund house 500 Startups.

Mumbai-based Logicserve Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates coupon provider Couponraja.in and price comparison site CompareRaja.in, raised $500,000 (Rs 3 crore) from Mahesh Pratapneni, Pallab Chatterjee and a bunch of unnamed investors in June.

Kalaari Capital, which has $650 million under management, has invested in around a dozen Indian startups since January, according to data from VCCEdge. Recently, Kalaari strengthened its ranks by adding senior industry executives. Early this year, Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata joined Kalaari as an advisor.

Two months back, Shopalyst, a startup that enables online shopping through ‘buy’ buttons on websites and apps, raised $2 million from Kalaari.

In August, Kalaari participated in a funding round at YourStory, whose content and events compete with some offerings from Techcircle.in and VCC Events, which are both part of the 10-year-old VCCircle Network.

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