[Funding alert] Social commerce platform Coutloot raises $8M from Ameba Capital, 9Unicorns, and others
Coutloot plans to use the funding to launch more services for retailers such as working capital solutions, video-stories, commerce features, scaling it’s B2B supply chain, and stepping up hiring activities across verticals, including tech, marketing, and leadership roles.
Mumbai-based, an offline to online (O2O) social commerce platform, has raised $8 million in a pre-series funding round led by venture capital firm Ameba Capital.
Other investors who participated in the round include SOSV, 9Unicorns, Astarc Ventures, as well as existing investor Venture Catalysts.
In its statement, Coutloot said the new funding is a precursor to a bigger $25 million round to be closed soon.
The startup plans to use the funding for launching more services for retailers such as working capital solutions, video-stories commerce features, scaling it’s B2B supply chain, and stepping up hiring activities across verticals, including tech, marketing, and leadership roles.
The company said that it wants to build India's largest online buying and selling platform akin to Alibaba Group's Taobao.
Founded by Jasmeet Thind and Mahima Kaul, Coutloot allows buyers and sellers to bargain while shopping.
It helps sellers list non-MRP (non-fixed-price), unbranded local market products across fashion, electronics, home decor, sports, and other boxed categories that make up for 75 percent of India's retail sector at present, and is the total addressable market for Coutloot, according to the company.
With its differentiating feature of 'bargaining,' something that Indian consumers love, Coutloot’s app allows buyers to chat in their preferred language, which gets translated into the seller's preferred language, it added.
On investing in Coutloot, Kevin Wang, Managing Partner at Ameba Capital, said:
"Coutloot has best addressed the needs from the rising consumption of 500 million-plus Tier II,III Indian population, by converging online and offline retail. The incoming fast 4G mobile rollout in the country will land successes like what's happened in China, like Taobao, Tmall, and Pinduoduo or even Tiktok creating conversational social commerce supported in India's local languages."
Coutloot's best-performing sellers come from smaller towns like Nagaon in Assam, Basai near Gurugram, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Surat in Gujarat, and Ludhiana in Punjab. Its platform provides business opportunities to over 500,000 offline retailers, mom-and-pop stores, home sellers, and street hawkers. It has over 20 million listings on its app, which has been downloaded over 7.2 million times.
With a quarterly seller retention rate of 42 percent, Coutloot claims to be the only SaaS O2O platform and marketplace with a seller-success rate of as high as 62 percent. While top sellers on Coutloot are making up to Rs 8 lakh a month, an average seller makes around Rs 14,650, it said in its statement.
Jasmeet Thind, Co-founder and CEO at Coutloot, said,:
"We are here to humanise ecommerce in India that is still just 10 percent of the total retail and FMCG sector. Most commerce still happens offline for various reasons, including low trust and bargain. Coutloot helps sellers and buyers with that power to decide the prices after a bargain on the chat. We are trying to create Coutloot as India's Taobao, which is one of fascinating the ecommerce success stories around the world."
The startup has grown 11 times during the pandemic and has been growing at a CAGR of 300 percent over the last three years. Coutloot said it is looking to clock a platform GMV of Rs 1,000 crore in 2022 on the back of rising demand coming from smaller towns.
Edited by Megha Reddy