Merchbay Products Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates art monetisation portal PosterGully, has raised $160,000 (Rs 1.02 crore) in angel funding from a group of investors through LetsVenture, an online capital raising platform for startups.
The round was led by Natarajan Iyer, former consultant at Egon Zehnder, with participation from Rajesh Sawhney, Nish Bhutani, Vivek Mulchandani,Vikram Saxena, Anuj Chowdhary, Shivam Shah, BL Agarwal and Devang Dhandhania, as per a press statement.
PosterGully will use the funds for marketing and growing the authentic artist community. It will also deploy the funds to expand the product mix and build a strong mobile presence, the statement said.
"We've created a business where we're operationally sound, cost efficient and ready to handle supply chain complexities at scale. With over 250,000 unique user sessions every month, we have a conversion ratio of three per cent and a customer acquisition cost of less than $1 (Rs 61),” said Bharat Sethi, the company’s founder.
“These sorts of metrics were only possible for us as a bootstrapped company because we had the power of direct branding, exclusivity of product line and scalability of a marketplace model," he added.
Founded by Bharat Sethi in 2013, PosterGully enables artists, designers and anyone who holds original visual content to contribute and merchandise unique designs for products such as phone cases, art prints, home décor, clothing and others to consumers globally. The company produces these products on demand from vendors across India through an API based automated process.
The startup, which was accelerated by GSF, currently has over 850 contributors on its platform.
"PosterGully was part of batch II of GSF Accelerator. Ever since, it has performed admirably on all accounts: business growth, acquisition of designers and customers, and business innovation. With this round of funding, they will be able to grow faster and build even bigger community of designers," said Sawhney, who is also the founder of GSF Accelerator.
PosterGully competes with startups such as Bangalore-based design-led consumer products e-tailer Chumbak and Delhi-based social network for artists TouchTalent.com. While Chumbak had raised an undisclosed amount in funding led by Matrix Partners India (with participation from existing investor Seedfund last year) in May, TouchTalent had raised $700,000 (Rs 4.2 crore) in seed funding led by SAIF Partners.