2021 is set to be a landmark year for the Indian start-up ecosystem – it is only April and already it has witnessed the birth of 10 unicorns, including Pharmeasy, Meesho, CRED, Groww, Gupshup, and ShareChat. It is raining money for Indian start-ups at the moment, which can be largely attributed to the raising of funds from new and existing investors. American investment firm Tiger Global Management has been one of the chief unicorn makers in India, having invested in as many as four of the 10 start-ups in India that became unicorns this year, and is discussing with several growth-stage start-ups for more than two dozen potential investments.
On Tuesday, Tiger Global added one more name to the list as it led a Series D funding round in DealShare, according to a report by TechCrunch, and while it may not be a unicorn yet, the title does not seem far now. The Jaipur-based three-year-old start-up which has built an e-commerce platform for middle and lower-income groups of consumers, completed a round that raised $100 million. This comes three months after DealShare had raised $21 million in its Series C funding round co-led by WestBridge Capital and Alpha Wave Incubation. Tiger Global and DealShare declined to comment further on the matter.
Earlier, it was reported that the funding round, led by Tiger Global, could raise from $70 million to $100 million, and it seems the goal has been met. Tiger could have valued DealShare at over $400 million in the funding round. That is a huge jump from the Series C funding.
DealShare plans to use the proceeds from the round to expand its presence from 25 cities to 100 cities.
The three-year-old DealShare, which counts WestBridge, Falcon Edge Capital’s Alpha Wave, Z3Partners, and Omidyar Network among its investors, has built an online platform that will aid the middle and lower-income groups of consumers. Founded by Sankar Bora, Vineet Rao, Sourjyendu Medda, Rishav Dev, and Rajat Shikhar, it offers products that are used in daily life, especially groceries, directly from local manufacturers and suppliers, offering discounts and cashback if consumers shared deals on products with others. It has capitulated on Amazon and Flipkart’s dominance in the urban cities to focus on the rest of the country, where the penetration has not been enough and Amazon or Flipkart do not have a strong presence. “This was an opportunity for someone to jump in,” DealShare CEO Vineet Rao said. According to him, consumers wanted products that were relevant to them and they wanted to buy these items at a price that instilled the most value for their bucks. “We focused on locally produced items instead of national brands. Even today, 80% to 90% of items we sell are locally produced,” he added.
The retail market in India still remains a ground with immense potential and with titans like Amazon and Flipkart capturing less than 3% of it, it is the perfect opportunity for firms like DealShare to jump into the fray, especially since the Indian ecosystem is having one success after the other.
The start-up has come a long way from being an e-commerce platform on WhatsApp, and if it continues to remain profitable, it will eventually compete with some of the biggest names in the game. It had recorded a rise in revenue from operations in FY20 to ₹58.71 crores from ₹2.96 crores in FY19.