Goodbox gets $2.5M from Nexus for chat-based commerce play
Bangalore-based Tsepak Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which connects users with merchants over instant messaging app Goodbox, has raised $2.5 million (Rs 16.5 crore) in Series A funding from Nexus Venture Partners.
Goodbox will use the money raised to expand operations, it said in a press statement.
"We are committed to enabling businesses with technology by giving them a ready store on our app. We wanted to partner with someone who believes in our visionâ€¦," said Abey Zachariah, co-founder & CEO of Goodbox.
Goodbox allows businesses to create a storefront on its app, similar to a real-world store. It enables merchants to chat with customers, upload their product/services catalog for search and discovery, take orders and accept payments.
Customers have the option of paying for orders through cash or online. The company claims listings for about 100 categories.
Currently, Goodbox is live in Bangalore with about 1,200 merchants. It works with restaurants, laundry chains, rental providers, movers & packers, canteens, salons and thali services, the company said.
Zachariah, a former executive at online bus ticket company redBus, started Goodbox in 2014 along with ex-colleague Mayank Bidawatka besides IIM Bangalore alumni Nithin Chandra, Mohit Maheshwari, Anand Kelaginamani and technologists Charan Shetty and Mahesh Herle.
The Goodbox app has clocked about 45,000 downloads on the Android platform, Bidawatka said. In May this year, Gooodbox raised $200,000 (about Rs 1.3 crore) in seed funding from Manipal Media Networks.
Goodbox competes with Lookup, a messaging app that connects local merchants with customers. It would also compete with a whole bunch of hyperlocal home services startups such as Look.in, Helpchat, BookMeIn and LocalOye among others.
Lookup is backed by Silicon Valley veteran Vinod Khosla, Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder), Global Founders Capital (the European investment fund of Rocket Internet's Samwer Brothers) and NR Narayana Murthy's Catamaran Ventures.
Nexus is an India-focused venture capital firm with over $1 billion in assets under management. It has an active portfolio of over 50 companies across technology, internet, media, consumer and business services sectors. It has positions in leading tech firms such as Snapdeal, Housing.com and Lybrate besides others.
Nexus recently put $5 million in San Jose-headquartered Infoworks.io Inc, an automated big data management startup that has engineering operations in Bangalore.