Surfboats Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates sampling and engagement platform for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, Smytten has raised Rs 100 crore (around $15 million) in a pre-Series B funding round led by its existing investors Fireside Ventures and Roots Ventures.
Smytten plans to use the funds to hire engineering talent and enhance its tech infrastructure with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning for brand building and customer acquisition. Smytten is also looking to double down on its hiring. The company currently employs more than 300 people.
The platform was founded by Nangia, a former Unilever executive and ex-Google official, Swagat Sarangi in 2015 as a luxury product sampling service. However, the broken supply chain for luxury brands in India made the company pivot focus towards direct-to-consumers (D2C) as well as premium brand sampling across fragrances, beauty, makeup, male grooming, food and beverages, baby and mother care along with health & wellness categories.
The round also saw investment from Marico chairman Harsh Mariwala’s family office Sharrp Ventures; Einfochips founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Pratul Shroff’s family office - Waao Partners; Rockman Industries chairman Suman Kant Munjal family office’s Survam Partners, and Sattva Group family office.
“We believe sampling led tried-and-tested method of customer engagement will change the way D2C brands and consumers interact, making it more immersive and experience-based. Smytten has re-crafted the standard playbook of brand creation with the deep tech solutions It is empowering the next generation of D2C & multinational brands with actionable insights and a captive audience to scale their business fast,” Siddhartha Nangia, co-founder, of Smytten said.
He added, “We are launching a new brand a day on our platform and bringing more than 15-20 new products every day to consumers to try”.Kannan Sitaram, Partner at Fireside Ventures said, “We continue to believe in the development of an enabling ecosystem for the consumer brand revolution that's shaping up in India and Smytten is right at the forefront of it. Their integrated approach to the consumer funnel and technological innovations to solve the key challenges faced by many D2C brands, makes them the unequivocal leader in a potentially $10 billion sampling and advertising market”.
In August, Smytten raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Fireside Ventures. To date, Smytten has raised over $20 million in institutional funding. The company claims to have been a curation host to brands like Mamaearth, mCaffeine, The Man Company, WOW Skin, Clinique, Faces Canada, Plum, Sugar, Lakme, among others.