Angel funded Explara.com in talks to raise up to $3M in Series A

Explara.com (formerly Ayojak), an event ticketing and discovery site run by Pune-based Signature Technologies Pvt Ltd, is close to raising its first round of VC funding in the range of $2-3 million, Santosh Panda, co-founder and CEO of the company, told VCCircle.

“We are already in talks with a few investors and are close to raising the money. The funds raised would be deployed in 18-24 months for our expansion,” said Panda.

He said the company will use the funds to invest in technology to establish an end-to-end event ticketing platform. “We are also looking at expanding in Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia besides South Africa,” he said. The deal is expected to close in 30 days, according to independent sources privy to the development.

The mandate is with Delhi-based boutique investment banking firm EthiQs Advisory. When contacted by VCCircle, Manish Kumar Pandey, partner at EthiQs confirmed the development.

The firm is expected to clock revenues of Rs 8.5 crore for the year ending March 31, 2014 from Rs 2.45 crore the previous year.

The company claims, at present, it handles a total of 7,500 events a year. It aims to become a one-stop online event ticketing company offering pre-events, event day and post-event services to organisers. Last month, the company also launched a marketplace for organisers.

"Ticketing is a highly competitive space globally, an industry which is growing at an average CAGR of 8 per cent with presence of heavyweights like Ticket Master and Eventbrite. However, Explara has created a powerful in-house platform and is doing an impressive job catering to medium and small venues/events with a high per ticket cost which are not served by these massive platforms," said Pandey from EthiQs.

Started in 2009, Explara has in place a cloud-hosted event solutions platform and focuses on four service areas—event ticketing/registration, payment processing (online, retail and cash on delivery), event marketing and logistics. One can create an account on Explara for free and organise free events without paying anything.

But a user has to pay when he/she organises a paid event/conference/meet-up. Currently, the company has operations in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. It also claims to have served event organisers from India, the US, the UK, South Africa, Singapore and Philippines.

In February last year, the startup received an undisclosed amount in funding from Harvard Business School (HBS) Alumni Angels, Srijan Capital and Blume Ventures. Google India MD Rajan Anandan and angel investor Kishore Warrier also participated in the round in their personal capacity. As per the agreement, HBS Alumni Angels’ co-founder Ravi Gururaj joined its board while Anandan came in as an advisor.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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