Retail technology company Shopsense on Thursday raised an undisclosed amount of pre-Series A funding from Kae Capital, Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal, and others. This funding will be used for market expansion. The team of IIT Bombay graduates has also launched Fynd, the B2C segment of its business. The team had earlier raised seed funding from Kae Capital and Powai Lake Ventures.
With this app, users can discover and follow their favourite brands, browse through the latest collections, try multiple sizes for the perfect fit, and get their shopping delivered home. Fynd will be able to procure products from local and branded stores. The idea, according to Co-founder Harsh Shah, is to redefine convenience for online shoppers.
While Shopsense has been a B2B player, and devices were available at different outlets for in-store engagement, Harsh says that over the past six months, they've seen a steady increase of traction from the end-consumer. "Many were looking for a similar model for their phones," says Harsh.
Offline stores, Harsh says, need to take part in the online shopping boom and Fynd helps them do that. Following both an offline and online models, this app helps stores participate India’s online shopping boom. "With Fynd, everything from billing to inventory happens at the store. So, for a technically online experience, the store still plays a major role," adds Harsh.
Being deeply integrated with their partner brands in terms of live and real-time inventory management, Harsh adds that Fynd brings a truly omni-channel experience to the consumer.
The company has some marquee clients like Lee, Satya Paul, Anita Dongre, Flying Machine, Arrow, and US Polo Association. The solution has also been deployed at Salman Khan’s Being Human chain of stores.
Their key in-store products include:
- Match– An in-store engagement platform: Built on large capacitive touchscreens, customers can easily browse products, search/discover new ones, and share the experience with friends for feedback via email or social networks.
- React– Engages and educates customers in-store: Prop an item on React and it comes alive with a product description. It is a great tool to empower customer representatives.
- LemurTM– A semantic search, discovery, and recommendation engine: It seeds new products to the product inventory. Recommendations are based on a user’s shopping journey, and Lemur helps customers navigate across the depth and breadth of the product inventory.
With the B2C angle in play, the team believes that they now have to gear up their operations and marketing teams.
There seems to be a keen interest in omni-channel retail by e-commerce biggies, especially Snapdeal. After funding from Shopo, FindMyStle, and Peppertap, it launched its omni-channel platform. There has also been a rise in online product discovery sites ever since e-commerce picked up.
A lot of activitives have been seen in the O2O (research online, buy offline space), mainly in the devices segment. When it comes to fashion, Doozton was an online discovery platform that was nabbed by Snapdeal. Wooplr is another venture-funded startup in a similar space, but its focus is more on helping shoppers discover fashion products in the stores around themselves