This hyperlocal segment is expanding phenomenally in India. In fact, even theoretically, the growth this particular segment has seen, may soon outrun the one we saw in e-commerce, when Flipkarts and Snapdeals were growing and coming up.
To add to that hyperlocal segment growth, CrownIt, the Accel Partners/Helion Ventures backed hyperlocal discovery platform, is now expanding its presence to Bangalore. Just a few months back, the startup had raised $5.5 Million in a Series A round from the aforementioned backers.
The mobile app, that was first launched in 2014, has made its presence felt in Delhi – NCR and Mumbai so far with a user base of 3, 00,000. Crown it making its opening in Bangalore with 2500 merchants listed in the FnB category with health and other segments like health and travel to be introduced soon.
Crown It lets users find local merchants and drives business to those merchants. However, it isn’t just discovery which this platform offers. After shopping from Crown It’s listed merchants, the user can collect cash-back points. These cash-back to customers is credited to their closed Wallet, which the customer uses for talk-time, Bill Payments, Online Shopping, Movie tickets and even charity among others.
By the end of 2015, Crown It plans to expand to other categories like weekend getaways, apparels and more. At present, it claims to be driving GMV worth $3Mn and is looking to achieve a couple of million users and monthly $25Mn GMV by Mar-2016 ($300Mn annual run-rate GMV). The company is targeting to have 20 million users and drive $1.2Bn of annual GMV across 25 cities in India by 2018.
However, considering the kind of hub Bangalore is (for all sorts of startups), Crown It’s way forward in Bangalore won’t be an easy one. However, Sameer Grover, who co-founded the app and is presently the CEO, is pretty up-beat and confident about this new launch. He tells me,
Our mission is to tap 25 cities by 2018; this is the seventh city and just the beginning to achieve the big milestone that we have set for ourselves. It’s our constant endeavor to empower the offline retailers and thereby come up with best curated deals for our consumers.