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Simsim gets $8m in Series-B funding round

The company will use the proceeds to expand its network of influencers, and further build its technology platforms.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Feb 14, 2020, 09.50 AM IST
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The latest funding round has been led by Simsim’s existing set of investors, China’s Shunwei Capital and marquee venture capital firm Accel Partners.
NEW DELHI: SZS Tech, which owns and operates vernacular social commerce and discovery platform Simsim, has raised over $8 million (about Rs 57 crore) in its Series-B round of funding, the latest equity financing mopped up by the startup in the past six months. The latest funding round has been led by Simsim’s existing set of investors, China’s Shunwei Capital and marquee venture capital firm Accel Partners.

The company will use the proceeds to expand its network of influencers, and further build its technology platforms.

“The Indian consumer is used to a very different shopping experience offline — one which is social and highly interactive…Of course, all these interactions are in local language and dialects. It is this experience and method of shopping which we are replicating at Simsim,” Amit Bagaria, co-founder, Simsim, said.

Including the latest capital infusion, Simsim has now raised an estimated $16 million, across its last two institutional funding rounds. The company was officially launched in July last year.

The transaction is the latest in the broader, but still-nascent Indian social commerce sector. Venture capital investors are increasingly scouting for what has been described as the new wave of ecommerce targeted at the next 100 million internet users. Focused on the non-English speaking population and relying on videos and platforms like WhatsApp, this breed of ecommerce startups is seen as being discovery-led, compared to search-led platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.

“In addressing the next couple of hundred million people who are coming online, Simsim has found a way to emulate that comfort and behaviour and bring these users meaningfully online,” Rohan Malhotra, managing partner at Good Capital, and an early backer of Simsim, said. Both, Good Capital and Shunwei Capital have also backed social commerce startup Meesho, which has raised about $190 million in funding till date.

Simsim, which was founded by Bagaria and Saurabh Vashishtha, both former senior executives at Paytm, and Kunal Suri, who was previously the managing director of Foodpanda India, claims to have over a million users, and works with over 1200 micro-community influencers.

The Android-focused platform, which is currently available to use in four regional languages, primarily focuses on tier-2 and tier-3 cities, garnering over 70% of its customers from outside India’s top-10 cities. It has over 30,000 stock keeping units, across the fashion, lifestyle and home categories.

“We have just begun our journey. Before the end of this year, we want to serve our customers in 20 different languages, and target to have 10 million-plus customers on the platform,” Bagaria said.



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