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By 10 February, 2015
Skype backer Mangrove Capital invests in e-com enabler for offline stores StoreKing

Mangrove Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based venture capital firm which has backed Skype and Nimbuzz, has invested in LocalCube Commerce Pvt Ltd, an e-com enabler for offline stores in small towns under the brand StoreKing, as per its website.

Although the investment amount stands undisclosed, the VC firm typically puts in $5-10 million in a company initially.

It is learnt that the transaction was completed a few weeks ago. We have contacted Sridhar Gundaiah, founder of LocalCube, and will update the post as and when we hear from him.

StoreKing is essentially an enabler for offline stores to expand their reach. It installs digital kiosks with screens at stores in small towns providing a self-service shopping experience to consumers. It claims it is present in over 600 stores in 22 districts of Karnataka and covers over 190 towns in the state.

According to its site, its kiosk-enabled stores sees over 50,000 walk-ins everyday and over 200,000 people have registered on its platform and it has sold over 30,000 SKUs to date.

The Bangalore-based startup was founded in 2011 by Gundaiah, a computer science engineer who was previously with online travel agency Via.com. He had also founded a location based startup Yulop and in the past worked at Yellow Tag and EDS.

Meanwhile, Mangrove Capital's partner Michael Jackson told The Economic Times that the VC firm has earmarked a corpus of $200-250 million to invest in India's e-commerce, internet and telecom startups. It has an investment horizon of 5-10 years.

In India, the fund has also invested in Smile Group’s dealsandyou.com.

Founded in 2000, Mangrove Capital is an early-stage investor in internet and software startups, and and is managing assets of around $1 billion.

It counts voice chat app Skype and instant messaging aggregator Nimbuzz among its past portfolio companies. Other firms it has backed include web cam chat service Woome.com, online ticket exchange site Seatwave.com, European classifieds site for real estate, Properazzi.com, Rocket Internet's multi-geography on-demand home services venture Helpling, and music streaming service Rdio (which acquired Dhingana and recently launched in India) among others.

In December, 2010, Mangrove sold German fashion sales site brands4friends to eBay and soon thereafter an Australian group buying site Spreets to Yahoo. Mangrove has also invested in private fashion shopping site KupiVIP.ru, which raised $20 million in a round led by Accel Partners.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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