IsGoingOnline Raises INR 1.50 Cr Pre-Series A Round
The funds have been earmarked for international growth, with a focus on the US, Canada, and the Middle East
Kochi-based IsGoingOnline (IGO), a digital catalogue and online marketplace that enables SMEs to list their offerings online, has raised INR 1.5 crore in a Pre-Series A round led by Artha Venture Fund, an early-stage micro-VC fund. Unicorn India Ventures, SEA Fund, and Brookfield Asset Management’s former managing partner, Devdatt Shah, also participated in the round.
IsGoingOnline, previously known as PerfectFit, pivoted its existing 3D scanning business to that of digital cataloging and online listing. According to a CRISIL study, that covered 566 small and micro enterprises, 53 per cent of small enterprises had pivoted to digital sales channels – up from just 29 per cent before the pandemic. IGO caters to this market and offers products that help MSMEs and other stores, who are finding it difficult to keep the offline models afloat amidst the pandemic and changing consumption patterns. The startup offers a holistic services stack for setting up online operations, powered by new technologies like AI, to small and medium businesses looking to set up their own marketplace or get listed on third-party websites such as Amazon and Flipkart amongst others. In an industry that is growing 16 per cent y-o-y, IGO currently connects more than 400 businesses to more than 120,000 buyers across the country by leveraging the power of social commerce.
“The pandemic has resulted in shifting consumer demands online, having a domino effect leading to the transition of sellers to cater to these needs. We were impressed by the team at IGO and how they are leveraging new-age proprietary technologies to cater to these business needs. Their successful business pivot and a strong (inbound) pipeline of SMEs was another factor that led us to invest in them. It showcased their adaptability and zeal to create real business solutions for the lesser tapped market of small enterprises in the country. We are excited to partner with them in this journey and welcome IsGoingOnline to the AVF family,” said Vinod Keni, growth partner, Artha Venture Fund.
IGO plans to use the funds from this round to scale up internationally and enable SMEs to go online. The company is taking its operations to the US, Canada, and the Middle East, in addition to the already established business in India. The investment round is also expected to enable IGO to expand its platform and add key product capabilities. The startup is looking at a market share of 18 per cent by FY 2023-24.
“As a fund, we are a firm believer in enabling startups who have a disruptive model. IGO has the know-how and deep understanding of the retail business and the necessary tools that can enable a massive chunk of SMEs to explore social commerce thereby directly impacting their bottom line. Unicorn India has been working closely with the founders to shape a pivot where the core skill sets of the team and pandemic-induced need for digital transformation meet to birth an attractive business idea. We are already seeing healthy traction build up in the business which encouraged us to back the team in the current round.” Shared Anil Joshi, managing partner, Unicorn India Ventures.
“Artha Venture Fund’s strategic approach, that went beyond just financial investment, was what drew us to them. We were looking for investors who would be holistically involved in our journey and help us in scaling our business. The success stories that form part of the AVF portfolio are testament to this. We are delighted to partner with AVF and hope this is the beginning of a fruitful and long journey together. We started as a platform that facilitated 3D scanning of products for sellers. However, while interacting with small businesses, we realized that they were finding it challenging to use traditional online listing platforms as well. While the challenges varied, the high commission seemed to be a common denominator. There was a clear gap in the market that led us to pivot our business and expand our existing platform towards the creation of IsGoingOnline. We plan to keep adding to our product capabilities to continue catering to the evolving market needs,” commented Eobin George, chief executive officer, IsGoingOnline.
In the few months since its launch, IGO has witnessed a 25 per cent month-on-month growth and boasts a clientele that includes Bigbasket, Namdhari, French Terrain, and IceBasket, etc. Additionally, it also offers value-added services via its studio arm Perfit Studio Network, which helps businesses generate professional-grade photos and videos of their products. IGO currently has over 2 patents in the digitization and display technologies segment.