Mumbai-based NearFox, a local lifestyle content and discovery platform, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from a clutch of investors, including Globevestor Angel Fund, CoverFox CTO Devendra Rane, GenY Medium Co-founder and Ex-Principal of Ventureast Ravi Jain, and Craftsvilla Products VP Arpan Nagdeve, among others.
Founded in 2015 by IIT-Bombay graduates Kiran Patil and Pritesh Mittal, the discovery platform helps citizens make discoveries across categories like food, shopping, beauty, fashion, fitness, entertainment and local travel. Kiran is a serial entrepreneur and had, prior to this, founded Organic Facts, a website on health and nutrition. Formerly, he was head of sales at Chaupaati Bazaar, a startup acquired by Future Group in 2010. Pritesh, on the other hand, was working with JPMorgan Chase before starting up NearFox.
The platform is currently available in cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai, and is planning to launch in New York. On call with with YourStory, Kiran said that the company plans to launch operations in cities like Hyderabad, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad. Also, from a team size of 15 members, it plans to expand to a 30-member team by end of this fiscal year.
In a statement, the company has shared that without any marketing spend, it has attained a six fold growth in website traffic over the last six months, and currently gets 2.5 lakh visits per month, after pivoting its business model in January.
Ankur Shrivastava, co-founder of Globevestor, said,
A huge untapped opportunity exists in the localisation and personalisation of content, especially on local news and discovery. NearFox aims to be at the forefront of this and has assembled an 'A team' very quickly. We've known them for a long time as the go-to people for content marketing and growth hacking, and they're easily the best team to deliver on this vision.
With the infused capital along with the planned launch in New York, NearFox also intends to be operational in 10 cities by mid-2017, and aims to launch in 200 cities globally over the next three years.
Last year, unicorn startup InMobi had also bet on the discovery platform space, and launched Miip, one that aims to transform advertising into “moments of discovery” for users. Other key players in this segment include KeyPoint Technologies and fashion discovery platform Roposo.
Though there are a number of players in this segment, only a few aim to be one-stop destinations and cater to different needs. Notably, even Google Maps now allows users to discover places.