Gurgaon-based cashback and coupon platform Cashkaro has raised Rs 25 crore in Series A funding from Kalaari Capital. This is the maiden investment by any VC firm in cashback (except coupons, deals) site in India. The company will use the funds towards building the brand, marketing, and international expansion.
Cashkaro offers cashback and coupons over 1,000 partner websites and has recently forayed into product search and discovery segments. The company claims to credit over Rs 20 crores across a million registered users as cashback. With this round, it is also eyeing to expand its operation to Singapore and other SEA markets.
Speaking on the fund raise, Swati and Rohan Bhargava, Co-founders of CashKaro.com, said, "In Kalaari Capital, we have found the right advisors to scale up our business and build a robust ecosystem. Having been early investors in many successful e-commerce businesses like Snapdeal, Myntra, and Zivame, they have a wealth of experience in this sector which will be extremely valuable. With the infusion of these funds, we plan to take Cashkaro to new markets and pursue an aggressive customer acquisition strategy while focusing on extending our mobile initiatives, including launching the CashKaro mobile app."
Cashkaro follows affiliate model and on an average it claims to earn two per cent of transaction size. According to the IAMAI report this year, affiliate sites account for 15-20 percent of e-commerce sales in India and because the model is performance-based it is also recognized as a key marketing channel for retailers.
Founded by wife and husband team — Swati and Rohan Bhargava — Cashkaro expects to drive GMV worth Rs 1,o00 crores this year. The company had raised USD 750,000 in 2013 in angel funding from a consortium of angels.
Speaking on the investment, Rajesh Raju, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital, said,
"We believe the e-commerce market in India will grow to upwards of $100 billion over the next decade and companies with unique offerings that help fuel the overall market growth will benefit immensely. CashKaro perfectly represents India’s love for savings and will play a key role in the growth of the e-commerce market."
So far, Indian affiliate marketing space (coupon and cashback only) is dominated by Coupondunia, Pennyful, Mydala, Couponnation, and Amazon associate program among others. Cashkaro competes with aforementioned companies.
According to Motilal Oswal’s report, online coupon/discount marketing segment has flourished alongside the surge in e-commerce in both the US and China, and India is no exception. Ebates and Fanli currently lead cashback segment in the US and China respectively.
Rakuten had acquired the US cashback major Ebates in $1 billion in September last year while Shanghai-based Fanli secured $100 million Series C round from Rakuten this year. With this round, Cashkaro is also entering the Singapore market, however, it will face a stiff competition from ShopBack and Ebates there.
This round will also boost the confidence of entrepreneurs in e-commerce affiliate segment at large. According to media reports, Mydala is in advance talks to secure a massive ($80-90 million) round. After facing a funding crunch for over past 18 months, coupons, cashback, and deal startups seem to be attracting investors interest once again.
(Disclaimer: Kalaari Capital is an investor in YourStory)