[Funding alert] Community-led commerce platform Marsplay raises Pre-Series A round led by Venture Highway

New Delhi-based Marsplay plans to use the funds to build its product engineering team and build a strong creator community.

Marsplay, a New Delhi-based community-led commerce platform, has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-series A round of funding led by Venture Highway with participation from Alvin Tse from Xiaomi, and Jonathan Lau, Partner, Cadorna Ventures

Existing angels including the personal offices of Shailesh Rao, a partner with TPG Growth, and Nikhil Mohta, Director, ICICI Ventures also participated in the round. 

Marsplay plans to use the funds to build its product engineering team and build a strong creator community. 

Samir Sood, Founder, Venture Highway, said,

“Fashion-led product discovery has been shifting away from ecommerce websites to social networks, however, the discovery to purchase process is still disconnected. More consumers are now seeking inspiration for fashion trends from people who are more relatable than celebrity influencers. In Marsplay, we have found a single platform that provides users with a seamless discovery of fashion trends and the ability to purchase their chosen product with a single click.” 

Marsplay Founders: Misbah Ashraf (L) and Ayush Shukla

Marsplay’s seed round was led by Amit Agrawal, former YouTube India Head, Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO, Bounce, and Shamir Karkal, Founder, Simple among others. 

Misbah Ashraf, Co-founder, Marsplay, said,

“We envisioned a platform that provided easy-to-shop fashion advice on ‘What to wear’ and ‘When to wear’ that was crowdsourced from a community passionate about fashion and beauty. We see our relationship with this crucial community as a symbiotic one - not only do we provide them with a platform to build their personal brand, but also the one with the tools to monetise their creativity.” 

Founded in 2017 by Misbah Ashraf and Ayush Shukla, Marsplay said it revolutionizes fashion shopping, by moving it away from catalogues to a personalized, curated, visual feed of fashion trends from your circle of acquaintances and your local community. 

The community fully captures local and personal aesthetic influences to give users a more relevant shopping experience. 

What makes Marsplay unique is a shoppers ability to purchase everything you see in your feed with a single tap, it said in a statement.

"Fashion trends, ideas, and inspirations are often derived from people rather than brands. Consumers look up to their favourite influencers not just for the relatable content but content that aids their buying decisions. At Marsplay, we believe in empowering every single person to be a brand of their own and build the most humane way for millennials to shop online," added Ayush Shukla, Co-founder, Marsplay. 

Founded by Samir Sood, a former business leader from Google, early-stage fund Venture Highway is focused on investing in technology businesses in India. This July, it leads seed and pre-series A funding rounds in two startups such as MyPetrolPump and Original4Sure.