Smytten, a recently launched online discovery platform for premium products and services, has raised $200,000 (Rs 1.3 crore) in seed funding from former Credit Suisse Asset Management executive Rimpal Chawla and Livspace CEO Anuj Srivastava.
An unnamed angel investor also participated in this round, Smytten said in a statement.
Launched in August, Smytten showcases premium brands from India/overseas in wellness, fitness and luxury stay services. Users can try premium brands and services for free.
Smytten, (run by Surfboats Solutions Pvt Ltd), is co-founded by ISB graduates Siddhartha Nangia and Swagat Sarangi. Sarangi was heading business marketing at Google while Nangia was a director at Unilever UK before taking the entrepreneurial plunge.
“Despite the huge market for premium products and services, the information available is fragmented, interaction with brands is sub optimal, trial avenues limited, and the sector has massive consumer trust issues due to counterfeit products,” said Sarangi. “Smytten solves these challenges and offers one-stop discovery, free trials for experiencing the brands, and recommendations for making purchasing decisions."
Smytten also offers assisted shopping and for the more advanced shopper, features such as customised offers and the ability to build their own 'like' list for regular purchases. It has tied up with more than 50 premium brands to offer consumers sampling experiences and the opportunity to purchase them online.
Focused on men's apparel only, Bangalore-based startup Clothist operates on a slightly different model. It curates a personalised apparel collection on the basis of a user’s lifestyle and allows him to keep the clothes for 24 hours before deciding what to buy.
In the first phase, Smytten will focus on products and services in areas such as premium beauty and grooming, luxury stays, high-end fitness and wellness, and consumer lifestyle.
The premium and super premium market has grown exponentially in the last three years in India. Pegged at $6 billion, it is projected to touch $20 billion by 2020.
In August, Mumbai-based Armoire Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, which runs Envoged.com, an online platform for women’s luxury wear, had raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Nijhawan Group’s Ankush Nijhawan, Mediology Software director Manish Dhingra and AMG Investment’s Gaurav Bhatnagar.