Schoolkart.com, an online marketplace in the school and education products domain, has raised $300,000 (around Rs 2 crore) in funding from 12 angel investors.
The online school products space is slowly picking up with already a couple of firms setting up shop. EschoolBuddy and Fastudent.com, both Noida-based startups, operate similar marketplace models. In November last year, Fastudent, from EduVision Retail Technologies Pvt Ltd, had raised seed investment from a group of angel investors led by Evalueserve COO Ashish Gupta.
The school products category, which includes school uniforms, shoes, stationery, sporting goods, curriculum books as well as reference books among other things, is estimated at $8-10 billion.
Nikhil Sareen, founder and CEO, Schoolkart Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Schoolkart, told VCCircle that the startup had last year raised $200,000 from three investors.
Schoolkart will be using the latest funding to step up marketing, expand its seller base, strengthen processes and hire more talent, he said. The startup, which currently employs 15 people, said it will hire in the areas of customer service, sales and marketing.
While the names of the investors could not be ascertained, most of them are well-known angel investors with some of them high net worth individuals (HNIs).
Founded in January 2015, Schoolkart works directly with vendors of school supplies and stocks around 25,000 products on its platform. Schoolkart also has an inventory-led model for some products. For school uniforms, the firm currently caters to the Delhi NCR region, while for rest of the product categories, it serves customers across the country.
Before starting Schoolkart, Sareen was with Amazon India where he was responsible for setting up the e-commerce major's sports and outdoors category. Prior to that, he founded a not-for-profit, Ehsaas Welfare Foundation, which works towards providing education and employment opportunities to the underprivileged sections of society. Sareen is an MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB).
Schoolkart also runs a CSR initiative called Schoolkart Cares. Customers who visit the platform are given the option to donate their old uniforms, shoes, etc. These products are picked up from the customer location by Schoolkart's logistics partners, and are then sanitized, refurbished (if needed) and then donated to partner NGOs. It charges Rs 50 as convenience fee for getting those products picked up from the doorsteps of customers.