GlowRoad gets $10 mn funding from China CDH Investment, others

GlowRoad co-founder and CEO Kunal Sinha. GlowRoad competes with social e-commerce startups such as Meesho, Shop101, Whooplr and Ezmall.

Mumbai: Social commerce platform GlowRoad has raised $10 million in a Series B funding round led by China’s CDH Investment, said a top company executive on Tuesday. Accel, an existing investor in the startup, also participated in the round.

CDH Investment’s other investments in India include Mayfair, a Gurugram-based e-commerce platform focused on lifestyle products, and Cashify, an online platform for selling used electronic products.

GlowRoad was founded in 2017 by Sonal Verma, Kunal Sinha, Nitesh Pant, Shekhar Sahu, and Nilesh Padariya.

The company connects resellers directly with raw material suppliers using social media services such as WhatsApp and Facebook. It also facilitates trade for individual sellers and small businesses with customers.

A majority of the resellers are homemakers, small business owners, and small boutique brands selling across categories such as clothing, apparel, and beauty products.

GlowRoad will use the funding for marketing, improving user interface, and expanding its customer base. “The target is to increase the current 15,000 transactions a day to 100,000 transactions per day,” said Sinha, chief executive officer (CEO), GlowRoad.

It also plans to expand its team to from 100 employees to about 250.

The company aims to be profitable by next year, but the current focus is to bring more resellers on board, Sinha said.

In 2017, the startup had raised $2 million in a Series A funding round from venture capital firm Accel Partners.

GlowRoad is the third company in the social commerce space to raise fresh funds in less than five months.

Meesho, one of the fastest growing platforms, had raised $50 million in its Series C round, while Shop101 had secured a $11.37-million Series B round. GlowRoad competes with Meesho, Shop101, Whooplr and Ezmall.

“There is a lot of interest from investors from countries including China and Singapore,” said Sinha.

India’s consumer internet and e-commerce market witnessed a boom year in 2014, but so far, marketplaces, including Amazon and Flipkart, have built their businesses only for the top 50-75 million shoppers in the country. Social commerce platforms target the next 200-300 million users in India, who might not know how to shop online but know how to operate social media platforms.