Squeakee raises bridge round from Kae Capital & Mumbai Angels, eyes $5-7M Series A in mid-2014
This comes one year after it raised under $1 million in a seed round from the two investors.
Squeakee went live in beta version a year ago. It was founded by Abrar Shaikh, who was a part of initial team at Komli heading the business development and more recently GM and head of business for What's-On-India, a TV metadata search company.
Talking to Techcircle.in, Shaikh said that though the firm was looking to raise Series A right away and had immense investor interest for the same, it decided to grow further and raise a bigger round next year. This bridge round is to support the company till that time.
"We are looking to raise $5-7 million in six-eight months. Kae Capital and Mumbai Angels have already committed for the next round and we are seeing a lot of interest from other investors as well," he said.
Squeakee is basically a search engine for offers and deals from local players. While earlier it aggregated offers from online as well as offline merchants, more recently the startup has discontinued the online players' aggregation and focuses on offline merchants.
It works on a location-based algorithm where in users can find ongoing offers and deals from brands and retailers on their computer. It now has on board over 10,000 offline merchants (last year Shaikh had shared with Techcircle that it is adding about 20-25 merchants per day). It has also grown its team in the last one year and is now 40-member strong with operations in Delhi and Bangalore apart from Mumbai.
Though the firm is euphoric about the investor interest, it is yet to zero in on a proper revenue model. While last year it was charging the merchants on a monthly basis for the listing, Shaikh said that the firm keeps on experimenting with multiple modes of revenue and keep piloting with merchants.
So, as of now, all the 10,000 merchants have listed on Squeakee free of cost. But the company does keep on charging for various initiatives. It had also tied up with malls in Mumbai for offline promotion during the sale season which added up as a revenue channel. "We have tested a lot of revenue models in the last one year. But we have taken a conscious decision to focus on increasing user base rather than revenue," Shaikh said.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)