[Funding Alert] CityMall Raises $3 Mn Led By Elevation Capital
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Social e-commerce venture CityMall has announced on Tuesday to have raised $3 million in a seed funding round led by Elevation Capital. The round also saw participation from Waterbridge Ventures with LetsVenture.
“The next 300 million Internet users, living in smaller cities, towns, and villages have fundamentally different behavior than the first 100 million users. They are native to social platforms such as WhatsApp and prefer buying from someone they trust. For that reason, community-led e-commerce is unique as it solves two distinct problems—one creating a layer of trusted community leaders and secondly, disrupting the two most significant cost elements of any e-commerce business; customer acquisition and logistics. With this funding, we are looking to deepen supply chains in tier II, III, and IV cities and introduce new categories such as fresh, grocery, and FMCG. We are also confident of expanding our network further in tier II, III, and IV cities in states such as Haryana,” said CityMall co-founder Angad Kikla, in a statement.
Founded in 2019 by Kikla and Naisheel Verdhan, Citymall has developed a community commerce platform, for everyday products, for the next 300 million Internet users. The proceeds of this fresh funding will be utilized to build a robust network of CityMall ‘Community Leaders’ and expand its supply chain tailored for smaller tier III and IV cities in India, apart from building a core team.
“Our vision is to build a decentralized e-commerce ecosystem for the next 200-300 million Internet users. We enable micro-entrepreneurs to run virtual digital stores by bringing e-commerce technology and cutting-edge customer analytics on their smartphones. Apart from being vernacular, our app gamifies the journey of community leaders to help them grow their business on CityMall while offering a super-simple and convenient experience for end consumers,” stated CityMall co-founder Naisheel Verdhan.
The platform’s long-term vision is to create India’s largest chain of virtual stores on WhatsApp.
In the past six months, the platform has achieved twelve-times growth in revenue and has established a presence in smaller towns and cities of Rewari, Dharuhera, Pataudi, Sonipat, Bahadurgarh to name a few.
“India’s e-commerce penetration is still lower as compared to other economies like the US and China, a major reason for this is limited headway existing platforms have been able to make beyond urban and tier I towns. The new generation of 200-300 million Internet users come from beyond these towns. We believe e-commerce platforms to serve these users will need to look and operate differently. Citymall’s unique community leader led business model positions it uniquely to solve this problem for grocery and daily needs. Coupled with Angad and Naisheel’s deep understanding of the space and the consumer segment, Citymall is best positioned to capture this massive market. Excited to be a part of this journey,” added Elevation Capital vice-president Akarsh Shrivastava.