Go-Ventures leads Series A funding in social commerce platform Mall91
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Mall91, a social commerce platform for vernacular users, said on Monday that it has raised $7.5 million (Rs 67.9 crore) in its Series A round of funding led by Go-Ventures.

Beenext, Kalaari Capital and AngelList India also participated in the funding round, Mall91 said in a statement.

The company will use the funds for product development, international expansion, hiring and driving supply chain capabilities.

Mall91, which is operated by Rovi91 Innovations Pvt. Ltd, was founded by Nitin Raj Gupta in 2018. It offers gaming, video, chat and social shopping features to customers, and is aimed at the next 400 million vernacular users across tier II, III and IV cities.

The startup, which currently has a presence in more than 2000 cities, raised its seed funding in December last year.

Aditya Kumar, vice president-investments at Go-Ventures, said the firm believes that Mall91's vision and approach can be successful in emerging markets across the world and look forward to supporting the company's growth.

Darshit Vora, principle at Kalaari Capital, noted that there is a huge untapped aspirational spend from rural India that is not yet captured online. “Mall91 with its unique market insights and approach has witnessed rapid user adoption. It has set a strong foundation to scale up to become one stop online destination for Bharat,” he added.

Deals in the social commerce segment

The social commerce segment has picked up investor traction recently, as more firms look toward catering to niche audiences and middle- and lower-income segments from non-metropolitan cities in the country. These startups are focussing on a variety of product categories, ranging from groceries to craft-made items.

Last week, DealShare, a social commerce startup that focusses on the grocery segment, raised $11 million in a seed and Series A funding round co-led by the US-based venture capital firms Matrix Partners and Falcon Edge.

In August, the Bengaluru- and California-based online reseller marketplace Meesho said it raised $125 million (Rs 885.7 crore) in a round led by South African tech conglomerate and investor Naspers. Earlier in June, Facebook invested in Meesho five years after first acquiring an Indian startup, Little Eye Labs.

Last month, at least two social commerce startups raised funding. HappyShappy raised an undisclosed amount in its seed funding from a clutch of high-profile investors including Beerud Sheth, Samuel Choi, Shivashish Chatterjee and Yuvraja C Singh.

Similarly, Marsplay Internet Pvt. Ltd said it raised funding from Venture Highway and a few angel investors including Xiaomi executive Alvin Tse.

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