How Trell is using content and community to create an impact on the social commerce ecosystem

In conversation with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Pulkit Agrawal, Founder and CEO of Trell, reveals how the social commerce startup is connecting content, community, and commerce to reach relevant customers and scale.
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Founded in 2016, Bengaluru-based social commerce platform Trell recently raised $45 million in a Series B round led by investors like Mirae Asset and H&M among others.

Pulkit Agrawal, Founder and CEO, Trell, says the fundraise is a “milestone for the company”, which empowers influencers and creators to create a social commerce ecosystem. There are a lot of opportunities in the market, and Trell is “backed by immense faith” from investors, fuelling the pace of execution for social commerce startup.

Pulkit feels investors like H&M resonated with the philosophies of Trell, which is in the process of building a lifestyle social commerce platform for customers to explore different categories like beauty, gadgets, fashion, etc. “We want to become a large horizontal lifestyle player in terms of commerce and content,” he says.

The startup now has plans to invest in four different areas: developing AI and ML technology, building a stellar team for innovation, building a sound community of creators and consumers, and expanding into newer categories such as babycare, homecare, apparel, and more.

According to Pulkit, social media has played a pivotal role in influencing consumer opinion and behaviour.

“People explore different forms of content and get inspired. Influencers, on the other hand, play an important role in enabling trust and awareness for consumers,” he says. 

Trell founders: Arun Lodhi, Pulkit Agrawal, Bimal Kartheek Rebba

The huge market opportunity

At present, there are more than 450 million social media users in India and regional languages have seeing a boom in this space. A large number of these users are unable to find relevant content in their language when it comes to commerce, which is where Trell helps steps in. Content creators, consumers, and brands interact on the platform to empower people with the right content.  

“There are large market opportunities. Social commerce is expected to be a $50-60 billion market in the next seven to eight years, and Trell is at the forefront,” Pulkit says.

Pulkit says people want to buy products backed by their favorite influencers and celebrities while celebrities and influencers want to launch their brands.

Trell’s aim is to “matchmake brands with the right partners” so that they can “grow through the platform and reach relevant customer groups”.

In addition to that, regional influencers and celebrities can also launch their brands for the target audience. “We see the future very differently. Regional influencers and celebrities will start to take over,” Pulkit says.

Internet-first brands have also started to build localised solutions to cater to the needs of the audience. Trell wants to be an enabler for all these new trends to grow fast.

Pulkit shares that Trell has been very aggressive in terms of revenue targets. Their aim is to cross $1 billion Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) in the next 18-24 months. The social commerce platform is already seeing almost 30 percent month-on-month growth on the platform.

The focus will also be on “growing as a community”. In the next 18 months, Trell hopes to have 150-200 million active users on the platform.

“We have very high ambitions and hopefully, with the right backers, we should be on way to achieve them,” Pulkit says.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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