Goodbox, a Bangalore-based startup which offers a conversational-commerce mobile application, has raised $2.5 million (Rs. 16.51 crore) from Nexus Venture Partners. With the newly infused capital, the company plans to enhance its technology, expand operations and bring more merchants on its platform.

It was founded earlier this year by a group of seven people – Mayank Bidawatka, Abey Zachariah, Nitin Chandra, Mahesh Herle, Mohit Maheshwari, Anand Kelaginamani, and Charan Shetty.

The company provides business with mobile application along with a payment gateway, which allows customers to interact and engage with them. In other words, it provides a social media communication app for the business and its consumers.

It enables business which operates via brick-and-mortar stores a chance to dive into the booming online commerce in India by offering them to set up their store on the app’s marketplace.

We feel like this works, because, many businesses, be it a grocery store, a company or even a hospital, rarely have such apps of their own. This will really help speed up processes and help both parties

said Mayank Bidawatka, co-founder of Goodbox.

Since its launch earlier this year, the company has tied up with more than 1,200 merchants in Bengaluru, including supermarkets, restaurants, laundry chains, rental providers, movers and packers, canteens and salons as it aims to get every business to create their store on the app and interact with customers.

The businesses available on the platform can accept your order over chat or through their menu. Once you download the app, search for a particular business or enter your locality and discover your trusted businesses on Goodbox. You can start buying from them in a jiffy. Chat, order and pay.

Goodbox charges merchants about 1,000 rupees a year and a 1.99 percent transaction fee for each payment. It has partnered with RoadRunner for logistics and allows merchants to use it.

Abey Zachariah, co-founder and CEO of the company, said,

A lot of merchants feel pressure to participate in e-commerce, but they are angry about commissions. So we created a business model where they can still sell online, but don’t have to pay such high commissions. We see ourselves as enablers for offline retailers that don’t have an online presence, so they can build an app presence without burning a hole their pocket.

The company raised seed funding earlier this year from the Manipal Group, Taxi-ForSure co-founder Aprameya Radhakrishna and redBus cofounder Charan Padmaraju.

It seems that there is no direct competitor to the company right now in the Indian market. However, it will compete with the hyperlocal delivery startups in India.


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