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Roots Ventures backs premium products discovery platform Smytten
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Surfboats Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates online discovery platform for premium products Smytten, has raised $1.5 million (Rs 10.6 crore) in funding from investment firm Roots Ventures.

Smytten said in a statement it will use the funds to expand its customer base and upgrade its product. The company will also use the money to improve customer experience, and strengthen its infrastructure, team and offline presence, co-founder Siddhartha Nangia said.

Nangia had founded the startup along with Swagata Sarangi in 2015. Both are alumni of the Indian School of Business. Prior to Smytten, Nangia was a director at Unilever UK while Sarangi led business marketing at Google India.

The startup had raised seed funding the same year from former Credit Suisse Asset Management executive Rimpal Chawla and Livspace CEO Anuj Srivastava. The next year, it received funding from Rajan Anandan, who was then Google India head, and a few other individuals. Overall, the startup has raised around $3 million so far.

Smytten says it helps consumers find the right products and assists brands to target their customers effectively. The startup offers premium products in segments such as beauty, male grooming, fragrances, pet food and baby products. Customers can choose products after trying out samples.

Roots Ventures

The investment firm was set up by former Sixth Sense Ventures managing partner Japan Vyas and former BanyanTree Capital principal Ravinder Vashist last year.

The firm is raising its debut fund, which has a target corpus of Rs 300 crore. The vehicle is registered as a Category-II alternative investment fund with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Category-II AIFs include private equity funds and debt funds.

The fund is a “multi-stage, sector-agnostic” investment vehicle, Roots Ventures says on its website.

The firm made its debut investment in January this year, backing pet grooming products maker EM & EM Personal Care Pvt. Ltd. It has also invested in speciality tea firm Teamonk, sweetmeat packaging and preservation startup Misht, and food companies Supa Star Food Pvt. Ltd and Kaarya Naturals Pvt. Ltd.

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