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OnlinePrasad to integrate marketplace for spiritual products, in advanced talks to raise $350K bridge round

OnlinePrasadBangalore-based Sumiran Spiritual Services Pvt Ltd, the company behind OnlinePrasad.com, a platform that offers prasad (offerings to god) on behalf of users at temples of their choice and then delivers it at their homes, is in advanced talks to raise Rs 2 crore (under $350,000) in a bridge round of funding, its CEO Goonjan Mall told Techcircle.in.

The company, which had secured an undisclosed amount in funding from serial entrepreneur Krishnan and wife Meena Ganesh in June last year, will use the fresh capital for brand building and team expansion, as well as to add more products to its private label brand Zevotion.

"The talks with two-three high net-worth individuals (HNIs) based in India and overseas are in advanced stages. We hope to close this round soon," Mall said.

The startup, which launched 'Zevotion' a few weeks ago, aims to become a leading private label brand in the spiritual space. "As of now, we are selling 'rudrakshas' under the Zevotion brand. We handpick the best rudrakshas from farms across Nepal, and present them to our consumers. We also have experts who exquisitely design the rarest of the yantras."

The company is also planning to integrate a managed marketplace to its platform, wherein it will list products from third party vendors, besides listing its own private labels brands. The startup is also currently in talks with a couple of temples for technology integration, where it will act as a marketing platform for them.

A Morpheus accelerator startup, OnlinePrasad was founded in January 2012 by Mall, a BITS Pilani alumnus. The platform basically enables devotees to offer 'prasad' to the temples of their choice across India. One can visit the platform and choose his/her favourite shrine. The corresponding page has all the details of the temple, including its history, rituals, etc. The customers then needs to select the quantity of 'prasad' they want to offer, post which they can proceed to payment. Users can make payments via credit/debit card, net banking or bank deposit. OnlinePrasad also has registered cash payment centres and sales partners.

The company has employed people at each temple location who make the offerings to the deities (with all the necessary rites and rituals) and then package it. The prasad is then delivered to the customer via courier services in five-six working days. It has partnered with multiple logistics services for home delivery. The fee starts at Rs 501 per offering and can go up to Rs 51,000 for specialised offerings. One can also get prasad every month for Rs 11,000. The fee covers the price of prasad, packaging, logistics, shipping, payment collection as well as government taxes.

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