IAN invests in e-com search and analytics service provider Unbxd

Indian Angel Network has invested an undisclosed amount in Unbxd, an in-site search provider. IAN investors Manav Garg and Sharad Sharma led the investment round in the startup and as part of the investment, Garg will join the board of the company. While the actual investment happened in April, it has been disclosed now.

The company has used the investment for expanding its team (from 5 to 11 as of now) and will also use it to scale up the product and expanding its reach to e-commerce players across the globe. The SaaS offering of Unbxd search on the Cloud is also under development and the beta version is planned for launch in November this year.

“The definition of e-commerce has expanded to include Internet purchasing, mobile, and more recently, social and peer-to-peer financial activity. Unbxd’s technology and the uniqueness of their solutions makes for a differentiated product,” said Garg.

The Bangalore-based startup was founded by Pavan Vilas Sondur and Prashant Kumar in October 2011. The startup offers a B2B product that basically powers e-commerce sites with their in-site search functionality. The results are dynamically generated as and when visitors search for the products. The search also enables (from the back-end) a lot of merchandising options for the online retailers to push a certain set of products for maximum conversion. As of now, the pricing of the product is completely based on the volume of customers visiting a site.

And with the growing number of e-com sites, the startup will also focus on a variety of verticals including travel, matrimony, retail and classifieds. It currently claims to have around 15 customers (out of which 13 are live as of now) including Indiaplaza.com and Travelguru. Without naming them, Sondur also mentioned that the startup already has two US customers.

“The search engine located on a retailer’s website is a key element of the online shopping process. Companies worldwide are increasing their investment on in site search because they want to improve the experience for website users and increase site usage and sales,” said Sharma.

On the global level, the startup’s competitors will include players like Endeca (acquired by Oracle) and Autonomy, among others.

This investment in Unbxd takes IAN’s total number of investments this year to 11. In 2012, IAN has already invested Rs 2 crore in Mumbai-based tech startup Birds Eye Systems Pvt Ltd, a company specialising in intelligent traffic monitoring solutions; Rs 3.25 crore in Mumbai-based Peel-Works, a Cloud-enabled sales force transformation and BPO firm; around $1 million in Gamiana Digital Gaming Pvt Ltd, a three-year-old Mumbai-based digital gaming startup and $0.5 million in Chennai-based StayZilla.com, a hotel booking site.

Other investments this year include undisclosed amounts in Mumbai-based quick service restaurant Poncho, Bangalore-based social gaming startup HashCube Technologies Pvt Ltd and Aurus Network Infotech Pvt Ltd, a cloud-based SaaS solutions company for lecture capturing and publishing.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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