M-commerce app Goodbox raises funds from Nexus, Mekin Maheshwari

Goodbox, an app that offers small and medium-sized businesses an e-commerce platform, has raised about $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore) in a fresh funding round led by existing investor Nexus Venture Partners, the company’s latest filings with the ministry of corporate affairs show.

Mekin Maheshwari, founder of and former chief people officer at e-commerce firm Flipkart, also participated in what appears to be an extension of the startup’s Series A round—the filings show that the board allotted preference shares at the same pre-money valuation as the Series A round in November 2015.

At that point, Tsepak Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Goodbox, had raised $2.5 million (Rs 16.5 crore) from Nexus Venture Partners. In May 2015, the Bangalore-based company raised $200,000 in seed funding from Manipal Media Networks.

In February, Goodbox's co-founder and chief executive Abey Zachariah told the Press Trust of India that the company was looking to raise more than $2.5 million over the coming months to ramp up its technology infrastructure and expand operations across India.

E-mail queries sent to Mayank Bidawatka and Anand Kelaginamani, other co-founders of the venture, did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

Goodbox was founded in 2014 by former redBus executives Zachariah and Bidawatka, and IIM-Bangalore alumni Nithin Chandra, Mohit Maheshwari, Kelaginamani and technologists Charan Shetty and Mahesh Herle.

The company allows businesses to create a storefront on its app, similar to a real-world store. In other words, businesses can create an app for themselves on Goodbox’s platform, where customers can directly interact with the store and do transactions. Hence, the platform serves like a mega app where users can see mini apps of several businesses within. Users also get loyalty and reward points for using the platform.

In January last year, Goodbox acquired loyalty cards management app Smartpocket for an undisclosed amount.

The Goodbox app provides businesses features such as a customised mobile platform, customer database, product catalogue, and an online payment facility. Goodbox charges its merchants an annual maintenance fee.

While the cost of building one's own app comes to Rs 5 lakh-1 crore, and needs regular inflows in the form of maintenance charges, Goodbox’s mini app come with a starting price tag of as low as Rs 2,499 a year, according to information available on its website. Recently, Goodbox introduced a do-it-yourself feature where businesses can create their own mini app in five minutes. According to a recent article in Forbes India, Goodbox serves more than 10,000 businesses.

For the customer, it does away with the need to download multiple apps.

Currently operational only in Bangalore, Goodbox’s merchants include restaurants, laundry chains, rental providers, movers and packers and salons, among others.

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