Indian social commerce startup DealShare pockets $45m from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – TechCrunch

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is backing Indian social commerce startup DealShare, the two announced on Thursday, joining a list of high-profile investors doubling down on India’s growing e-commerce market.

A wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund is investing $45 million in DealShare, bringing the size of the Series E funding round recently unveiled by the Jaipur-based startup to $210 million. The round, which TechCrunch first reported on in late October, values ​​DealShare at $1.7 billion and pushes its all-time increase to $393 million.

DealShare, which counts Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Global among its investors, operates a so-called social commerce startup through which it serves customers in more than 100 Indian cities and towns where Amazon and Flipkart have made little or no inroads.

To reach the masses, DealShare “plays and socializes the elements of shopping,” Rajat Shikhar, the startup’s co-founder and chief product officer, said in an interview with TechCrunch. These strategies include encouraging customers to buy in groups and inviting their friends as well as “negotiating” on prices, he said.

“We offer very high engagement on the platform because we serve customers who aren’t so tech-savvy and historically haven’t made purchases online,” he said.

By encouraging customers to bring their friends to the platform, DealShare has been able to significantly reduce its customer acquisition and order fulfillment costs, he added. On the platform, customers also negotiate prices with the system, replicating behavior that is the norm in physical stores.

The startup also works with local brands and also leverages its own internal private label ecosystem to make its offering affordable for customers, he said.

“We aim to democratize online shopping for Bharat users with unparalleled service and experience by developing innovative products and technology solutions. This will be supported by building our teams across the country and hiring new tech talent at all levels,” said Vineet Rao, co-founder and managing director of DealShare, in a statement.

At stake is the second-largest Internet market in the world, where e-commerce has made virtually no impact on retail as a whole.

The social commerce market alone is expected to be worth up to $20 billion by 2025, up from about $1 billion to $1.5 billion last year, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein said l ‘last year. “Social commerce has the capacity to empower over 40 million small entrepreneurs across India. Today, 85% of sellers using social commerce are small, offline-oriented retailers who use social channels to unlock new growth opportunities,” they wrote in a customer report.

DealShare started its journey the day Walmart acquired Flipkart. The startup started as an e-commerce platform on WhatsApp, where it offered hundreds of products to consumers.

“The e-commerce ecosystem in India is growing rapidly and DealShare caters to an underserved and growing segment within it. This investment is part of our approach of supporting innovative companies with differentiated business models to execute their growth strategies,” said Hamad Shahwan Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of Private Equity at ADIA, in a statement.


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