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Brand Capital-backed Avenue Growth bags pre-Series A cheque
Photo Credit: Bhakti Nair/VCCircle

Gurugram-based Avenue Growth, an online platform that connects brands with freelance sales professionals, has raised Rs 3 crore ($437,000) in a pre-Series A funding round, the company said in a statement.

The round was co-led by Avtar Monga, chief operating office at IDFC Bank, and Aditya Malik, chief executive of ed-tech firm Talentedge. Besides, undisclosed business houses participated in the round.

The company had previously raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round from a clutch of investors that included Malik, Brand Capital and GSV Labs from Silicon Valley.

Avenue Growth, which is operated by Growth Skills Pvt. Ltd, will use the funds primarily to ramp up its technology platform as well for its overall growth, co-founder and CEO Rachit Mathur said in the statement.

“Customer acquisition is the core of every business, small, medium or large scale,” Talentedge’s Malik said.

Avenue Growth was founded in 2017 by Mathur and Dilkash Malhotra. The company, which dubs its business model as a ‘sales-as-a-service’ offering, onboards qualified freelance sales professionals and trains them with the required skills. Subsequently, it connects the right specialist with the brands based on their requirements and needs. The freelance professionals pay a one-time onboarding fee.

The company generates revenue through commissions per sale that happens through their platform. Once sales professionals are assigned to a brand for an assignment, the company tracks their performance, besides guiding them. The company provides brands a dashboard to track each project.

Operational in more than 500 cities, Avenue Growth currently claims to have more than 7,500 sales professionals and more than 40 brands on its platform. The company hopes to onboard more than 1 lakh sales professionals by mid-2019.

Currently, the company’s sales talent pool offers services to eight industries including banking, retail, insurance, FMCG, consumer electronics, technology and software, hospitality and e-commerce. Google, Facebook, Amazon, AirBnB, Paytm and PNB Housing are among the firm’s clientele.

An MBA professional in international business and marketing, Mathur has earlier served as the vice president of growth initiatives at online home services marketplace Zimmber (acquired by Quikr last year). His earlier venture FindYahan.com was acquired by Zimmber in 2016. Co-founder and COO Malhotra had earlier served as the head of business development at online furniture firm Pepperfry.

Deals in the space

A number of startups in the broader recruitment space have raised funding in the recent past.

Last month, NumeroSeven Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs artificial intelligence-based recruitment platform Spotle.ai, raised angel funding. Early in June, the firm had changed its brand name from Frapperz to Spotle.ai. As Frapperz, it connected freelance home improvement experts with home owners in Kolkata. After pivoting its model, as Spotle.ai, the firm will connect professionals from different industries to employers.

VCCircle reported that IIM Ahmedabad’s incubator-cum-investor, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), had invested seed capital in Noida-based placement solutions provider Reculta.

In April this year, Gurugram -based HR tech startup Benepik raised seed money from a group of investors, including Vishal Bali, managing director at Nielsen China.

In March, recruitment solutions startup HireXP raised funds from Ambarish Gupta, chief executive of cloud telephony firm Knowlarity Communications.

In the same month, Abhishek Goyal, founder of data analytics firm Tracxn, and former Flipkart executive Mekin Maheshwari acquired equity stakes in Purple Quarter, a startup that scouts for technology talent.

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