Bangalore-based raises angel funding from Hyderabad Angels and others


Bangalore based, a startup that has built a platform to connect devotees to their faith, has raised undisclosed amount in an angel round led by Hyderabad Angels along with participation from The Chennai Angels and individual Angel investors. Marquee investors from ‘Hyderabad Angels’ and ‘The Chennai Angels’ include Srini Koppulu, Suresh Babu, Snehil Saraf and Amul Sanghani.

OnlinePrasad was conceived in 2012 as the brainchild of Goonjan Mall. The niche site focused on devotion and spirituality has already had seed funding from, the entrepreneurship platform set up by K Ganesh and Meena Ganesh, and The Morpheus, the startup accelerator setup by Nandini Hiranniah and Sameer Guglani.

Read their startup story in detail  here

The platform already has a network of 50 temples across the country. Devotees are increasingly using the web and mobile platform to connect to their faith via a variety of 'prasad' and spiritual products offered by the company

This round of funding will be primarily used to expand the current scale of the platform's 'Prasad' and 'Pooja' offering, increase brand awareness and strengthen the team. With a well-established network of temples and range of premium rudrakshas, yantras and shaligrams under their Zevotion brand, the funding support is expected to propel the growth plans of the company both in revenue and volume terms.

Riding high on this funding round, the company is celebrating a JagmagDiwali week – to provide its customers with a wide range of carefully thought out Pooja and gift items

Sasidhar Nandigam, Director at Hyderabad Angels said: “Trust between a customer and company is critical to the success of any business and nothing exemplifies this better than Online Prasad which has won the quintessential trust of millions of devotees by bringing God closer to them. The company has also created high entry barriers very early in the niche and rapidly growing spiritual e-commerce segment"

Post the funding, Mr. Niraj Mital from Hyderabad Angels would join OnlinePrasad’s board representing the investor group. Sasidhar Nandigam would join as the Board observer on the platform's board.

“We are delighted that this latest funding will allow us to leverage the vast experience of technology industry pioneers. With their experience and guidance along with the support of our earlier investors, we believe that is on an exciting growth phase”, said Goonjan Mall, Founder and CEO.

The overall devotion market in India is huge and always growing. The online space is also growing rapidly.

"The online devotion market should be ~$1B by 2015," says serial entrepreneur K Ganesh.

"For the elderly people , this is driven by access – you just cannot travel given physical constraints. The next best thing is type solution that ensures that on the specific day , specific offering in your name is performed –just as you would do if you were there," he adds.

The younger generation is also increasingly adopting Internet and mobile technology in their life – be it online travel, shopping, dating, e-grocery, gifting or meeting and social interaction.

"This generation is time starved and completely mobile Internet driven. Just project yourself 5 and 10 years ahead – almost all transactions will have Mobile app inherent in its utility," Ganesh says about his perspective on the adoption among the younger generation.

Do you think niche e-commerce websites are the way to go ahead for online retail?