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Didi Chuxing backer KIP, Vertex Ventures pump fresh capital into GlowRoad
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Women-focused reseller platform GlowRoad said on Thursday it has raised $11.5 million (Rs 80 crore) in an extended Series B round of funding from new investors, less than two months after mopping up a slightly lower amount.

GlowRoad secured the fresh capital from Korea Investment Partners (KIP), an investor in Chinese cab-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, and Singapore-based Vertex Ventures.

The startup, run by Accelerator Enterprises Pvt. Ltd, said in a statement it will use the fresh funds to hire and boost its growth. The company has raised $24.3 million in funding so far, it added.

GlowRoad had secured $10 million in a Series B round led by Chinese alternative asset management firm CDH Investments. IT had first secured $2 million in Series A funding from Accel in September 2017.

GlowRoad co-founder and CEO Kunal Sinha said the company aims to achieve profitability within a year on the back of capital efficiency it has maintained with a customer acquisition cost of less than $3 and around 73% repeat customers.

The venture was earlier known as LocalQueen.com and rebranded as GlowRoad in June 2017 by Sonal Verma, a doctor by qualification. The company connects housewives, who want to start a reselling business at home, with suppliers.

GlowRoad competes with other investor-backed companies such as Meesho and Shop101.

In November 2018, Meesho, an online marketplace for resellers, raised $50 million (Rs 365 crore) in a Series C round of funding from a number of investors including China's Shunwei Capital, Israeli-Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Partners and RPS Ventures, a fund set up by former SoftBank managing director Kabir Misra.

In December 2018, Mumbai-based Shop101, a mobile storefront and commerce platform for sellers, secured Rs 80 crore ($11.37 million then) in a Series B funding round led by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital and consumer goods giant Unilever’s investment arm Unilever Ventures.

Investors

Vertex, an early-stage venture capital firm backed by Singapore's Temasek Holdings, raised the targeted corpus for its new fund focused on Southeast Asia and India earlier this month and will make the final close soon.

In March, Vertex led a Series C round in its existing portfolio payments firm InstaReM Pte. Ltd.

Last year, its new bets in India included OnEMI Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs digital lending startup Kissht; Hansel Software Pvt. Ltd, which operates real-time mobile app management platform Hansel.io; and Delightful Gourmet Pvt. Ltd, which operates online meat and fish ordering platform Licious.

KIP, whose origin dates back to 1818, has more than 30 years of venture capital investment experience, according to its website. Its other bets besides Didi Chuxing include mobile messaging app KaKao and Temco, a supply chain startup based on Bitcoin.

Other South Korean firms such as Mirae Global Asset Management and Neoplux have been quite active in India's startup ecosystem in recent years.

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