Trell raises pre-Series A funding from Sequoia’s Surge, Fosun RZ
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Trell Experiences Pvt. Ltd, which runs a lifestyle community commerce platform, has raised $4 million (approximately Rs 29.24 crore at current exchange rates) in a pre-Series A funding round.

The round has been led by Sequoia Capital accelerator Surge and Fosun Group investment arm Fosun RZ Capital. Other participants include KTB Network, as well as existing investors Beenext, WEH Ventures, and Sprout Ventures, Trell said in a statement.

Existing investors Beenext, WEH Ventures, and Sprout Ventures also participated in the round.

The Bengaluru-based firm said it will use the funds to enhance its technological infrastructure, expand its regional influencers and penetrate into Tier-II and Tier-III markets by adding ten languages to its platform by the end of this year.

The creation guidelines on Trell do not encourage selling or promoting a product directly. It's about telling your story and personal experiences that are helping thousands of micro-communities in India to make purchase decisions,” Prashant Sachan, co-founder at Trell, said.

Trell was founded in 2016 by IIT Bombay alumni Pulkit Agrawal, Prashant Sachan, Arun Lodhi, National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) graduate Bimal Kartheek Rebba, and New Jersey Institute of Technology alumnus Nirav Sheth.

The company’s mobile app allows users to create videos of their travel and local experiences and share it as a classic slideshow or copyrighted images on other platforms.

In July 2018, Trell raised $1.25 million (Rs 8.58 crore) in its seed funding round that was led by early-stage venture capital firms Singapore-based BeeNext and Mumbai-based WEH Ventures.

Other investors in the company include Rajan Anandan, Aprameya Radhakrishna, Livspace co-founder Ramakant Sharma, PayUMoney Nitin Gupta, Shaadi.com founder Anupam Mittal former Paytm executive Amit Lakhotia and LetsVenture chief executive officer Shanti Mohan.

Surge’s cohorts and bets

Trell is the latest Surge-accelerated startup to receive funding, whether through the Sequoia arm or other investors. Mentors on Surge include Byju Raveendran of ed-tech startup Byju’s, Deepinder Goyal of food-technology platform Zomato, Ritesh Agarwal of hotel firm OYO, Kunal Shah of Cred, Ankiti Bose of Zilingo and Ashwini Asokan of Mad Street Den.

Last month, video production and editing platform InVideo raised $2.5 million (approximately Rs 17.90 crore) in a round led by Surge, with participation from angel investors Anand Chandrasekaran and Gokul Rajaram.

In January, e-sports streaming and community platform Rheo raised $2 million (around Rs 14.34 crore) in seed funding from a clutch of investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Surge, Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini and former LinkedIn India country manager Mahesh Narayanan.

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