Mumbai-based Appie, a tech platform enabling online-to-offline (O2O) commerce, has raised $1 million in bridge funding from three angel investors based in Mumbai and Europe. To be launched in June, Appie aims to be a discovery platform for products in multiple categories and compare prices from different offline retailers in their vicinity.
Appie does not provide logistics and inventory but they are partnering with on-demand delivery platforms for shops which do not have their own delivery service. Aiming for instant gratification for the customers, they claim that the orders will be fulfilled in one hour. Appie plans to make use of the incoming capital to create adequate traction in terms of business and strategic alliances.
Kartik Sanghvi, a B.Com graduate who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, founded Appie Mobiquity in 2014. He was associated with startups during college, and ran his own manufacturing and importing businesses. Kartik wanted to enter the retail ecosystem by exploiting the technological advances and the e-commerce boom that followed. He does not believe in keeping the real, physical world away through technology. He feels that shopping is about experiences that have their own incomparable micro-moments like being treated specially, by known retailers or being served better. So Appie caters to all kind of retail consumers who still enjoy shopping offline for instant gratification, or touch and feel or assurance.
Kartik told YourStory,
Thanks to ecommerce, people are discovering products but not converting as customers. But a majority still buys in the offline world.
Consumers can discover products online through Appie, and they can either pick it up or the retailer will deliver it. Kartik added, “We want to make the ecosystem efficient by assimilating the years of experience in the business.” Appie plans to acquire 10000 retailers and close to half a million users across three cities in the first year.
Hyperlocal space has been exploding in India in the last two years. On-demand service providers which supply transport to laundry, online grocery players like Grofers, offline discovery platforms like Shopsity, and even Snapdeal’s omnichannel strategy have exploited this surge. Statistics say that there are 15 million retailers in India. The smartphone era offers multiple possibilities, yet 360 million smartphones users still shop offline. Appie is entering the scene at the perfect time.
More players are bound to enter the scene, but the question is – how about consistent 3G/4G internet connectivity for our smartphones?