Exclusive: Online-to-offline app Appie gets $1 mn in bridge funding
Location-based offline retail discovery platform Appie, which is operated by Mumbai-based Appie Mobiquity Pvt. Ltd, has raised a bridge round of funding worth around $1 million (around Rs 6.7 crore) from a Mumbai-based angel investor and two European investors, a top company executive told Techcircle.in.
The fresh capital will be used for product launch, customer acquisition and business development, said Kartik Sanghavi, founder, Appie. He, however, declined to disclose the names of the investors.
Founded in 2014 by Sanghavi, Appie aims to help physical retailers get online and connect with customers. It allows users to discover local fashion, home decor, electronic and mom and pop shops.
Buyers can either use the take-away or pick-up option to purchase products or pay cash-on-delivery while ordering from brick-and-mortar stores.
"When users express an intent for buying a product, the retailer use the app to reach out to them and give them the best price," Sanghavi said.
The firm has so far tied up with 1,200 retailers in Mumbai. The app is currently in beta mode and a formal launch is scheduled in June. The firm charges a commission of 0.2-0.9% per transaction from the retailers.
"We plan to add 10,000 retailers across three cities and expand user base to half a million in the first year," Sanghavi said.
A commerce graduate from R.A. Podar College in Mumbai, Sanghavi as previously running an apparel and footwear business. He had designed a gamification programme that aims at encouraging participation in civil activities at Ecolympics—an annual community event focused on sustainability—in Moscow in 2004. He had also worked as a consultant for the government of Mauritius for designing the internet roadmap for the country in 2000.
Appie's competitors in the online-to-offline (O2O) space include Fashalot, Zakoopi and Ratale.
Last month, Innotarget Fashalot Retails Pvt Ltd, which runs location-based fashion and store discovery mobile platform Fashalot, had raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-Series A funding round, led by YourNest Angel Fund and angel investor Rajul Garg.
E-commerce platform and mobile wallet Paytm, which is run by One97 Communications Ltd, has also been enhancing its presence in the O2O space. Last year, it had acquired Near.in, an app that connects users with local businesses for home services.
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