Bluebook, a discount and deals focused mobile app has raised funds to the tunes of $500,000 in a seed round led by Indian Angel Network (IAN). Avinash Vashishta, an IAN member along with Srinubabu Gedela, the founder of publishing house OMICS International are to join the Bluebook team as board members post investment. Apart from the said duo, Rajiv Mehta, chief executive for Arvind Lifestyle led the funding round.
BlueBook is an initiative launched by a trio — Varun Kumar Akula, Alok Medikepura Anil and Reetika G present in the market since 2013. The company started off with a voucher book offering discount coupons and released its mobile application back in November,2015. The company has tie ups with luxury brands including The Biere Club, Brewsky, Naturals, Bodycraft and O2 Spa. The business model revolves around charging monthly subscription fee of Rs. 99 to its users and offering discounts at restaurants, bars, cafes, spas, wellness centres and entertainment outlets. The discounts can be redeemed at outlets through a four-digit PIN authentication. Competitive firms for the venture include shopping app ShopsUp which raised seed funding of $1 million last month, Shopsity, Zakoopi, Fashalot, Shouut, and Bengaluru-based Retale.
The raised capital would be utilized in consolidating the merchant and user base in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Gurgaon. Further, it will be capitalized towards upgrading product and tech in order to offer deep customer analytics, loyalty solutions for merchants and payment solutions. The company also plans to expand its operations to all major metro cities by the end of 2017. BlueBook currently provides deals and discounts in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Gurgaon and has over 1,00,000 users alongside 1,200 merchant tie-ups.
Apart from IAN, LetsVenture, a cohort of independent investors from Singapore and the US also participated in the round. Padmaja Ruparel, president at IAN comments upon the investment as under:
We at IAN believe that BlueBook has global and compelling product with a potential to cater to a high growth market. We are confident that with the right mentorship and market access that IAN provides them, they will scale to become one of the largest brands in the O2O (online-to-offline) space.