Indian social commerce DealShare raises $ 144 million, plans international expansion – TechCrunch

Leading investors are doubling their bets to explore the future of social commerce in India. DealShare said on Thursday it had raised $ 144 million in a new round of funding as it sought to expand its presence in the South Asian market and seize opportunities in international markets.

The new round of funding, a Series D, was led by Tiger Global and valued the Indian startup at $ 455 million (post-money), up from the $ 50 million pre-currency valuation of Series C. TechCrunch reported in April that the New York hedge fund was in talks to lead a big round in the Bangalore-based startup.

WestBridge Capital, Alpha Wave Incubation (a venture capital fund backed by ADQ and managed by Falcon Edge Capital), Z3Partners, Partners of DST Global and Alteria Capital also participated in the new round, third in the last seven months and increasing to date at $ 183 million.

Even though Amazon and Flipkart have been successful in creating a significant market in urban Indian cities, much of the country still remains underserved. (Fun fact: DealShare kicked off its journey the day Walmart acquired Flipkart.)

DealShare, which started out as an e-commerce platform on WhatsApp, where it offered hundreds of products to consumers, is trying to reach consumers in small Indian towns. The startup says its platform customers buy selected items in groups, making purchases “very competitive” in terms of affordability. The average cart size on DealShare is between $ 16 and $ 19, the startup said.

The startup, which competes with SoftBank and Meesho, backed by Prosus Ventures, offers “high-quality, low-cost essentials paired with a gamified, fun, and virality-driven vernacular shopping experience that empowers newbies to to easily experience shopping online, ”its executives said.

Community buying, they said, allows for a “very low cost delivery mechanism” and guarantees “a first-rate unity economy”. DealShare has brought together over 1000 micro-entrepreneur partners who are helping it promote the community group buying model in the country.

“We plan to further strengthen our network and grow it to over 5,000 by the end of the year. At the same time, we plan to fuel growth by building cutting-edge technology and infrastructure assets that will ensure efficiency, ”said Sankar Bora, Founder, COO, DealShare.

A look at various players in the social commerce market in India. Image: Jefferies

“We are delighted to partner with DealShare as they develop the Indian e-commerce market. DealShare’s unique approach combines discovery-driven social sharing, group buying and a fun shopping experience with a simple customer interface. They are well positioned to fuel the next wave of Indian e-commerce growth, ”Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global, said in a statement.

DealShare expects to break even over the next 12 months and will expand to international markets as well, said Navroz Udwadia, co-founder and managing director of Falcon Edge Capital. The expansion will begin with the United Arab Emirates, he added.

Social commerce, which combines commerce and social media, is in its infancy in India but has the potential to become mainstream, analysts at Jefferies wrote in a recent report.

“The forays of Reliance and Tata Group are already causing tremors in the e-commerce ecosystem, and social commerce has the potential to proliferate further. The comparison with China suggests significant potential. Meesho, among the pioneers in India, is already at $ 1.4 billion GMV (March 21 execution rate), ”they added.

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