Mumbai-based social commerce startup Shop101has announced that it has raised $5 million in Series-A funding from Bengaluru-based VC firm Stellaris Venture Partners (SVP). The funding also saw participation from Zomato investor Vy Capital, and angel investors Raghunandan G (TaxiForSure co-founder) and Ramakant Sharma (Livspace co-founder).
A press release from the company states that it will use the capital to strengthen its core leadership and product team, scale the supplier network and enhance the technology platform.
Founded by IIT Kanpur alumni Abhinav Jain and Aditya Gupta in 2015, the platform helps build businesses using social media. It enables entrepreneurs to sell online and on social media with zero investment by providing an online storefront in less than two minutes.
Shop101’s target customer base includes established merchants, housewives, and college students.
Once you register with Shop101, you can put up your own products or resell from the range of products available on Shop101’s supply platform. It aims to democratise ecommerce by empowering entrepreneurs to launch their own online store as well as sell on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other social channels with a few clicks. They can procure supply directly from manufacturers and brands.
Shop101 claims to have grown 25-30 percent month on month over the last couple of years. Founder-CEO Abhinav Jain says that they have empowered more than three lakh entrepreneurs across the country with reliable and scalable technology, extensive range of products on supply platform, pan-India logistics and payment solutions.
“With an extreme focus on technology and supported by an exceptional team, we have been able to build a very high-quality platform that can help entrepreneurs earn much more as well as save money by operating at really low costs,” says Abhinav in the press statement.
Asked about the interest in Shop101’s business model, Rahul Chowdhri, Partner at SVP, told YourStory that there is a clear trend of selling on social media via Facebook and Instagram. He added,
If 20 years ago, housewives were selling products by doing exhibitions within their community, today they are doing it on WhatsApp groups. But these platforms are not designed for commerce. You need to take care of payments, CoD, courier, good quality supply etc. This is where Shop101 comes in.
Rahul believes that the curation and trust gained from these sellers increases the uptake of this model. “It enables millions of people to earn via small businesses in a B2B2C model.” Rahul has joined the board of Shop101 now.