Hyper-local e-commerce platform LoveLocal has raised $18 million in its pre-Series B investment round, which also happens to be the largest investment round ever raised by a solo woman tech founder in the world’s second-largest internet market.
The oversubscribed round was led by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital and included participation from Klarna Founder & CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski’s Flat Capital, Alumni Ventures Group and Commerce Ventures, existing investors Blume Ventures, AC Ventures, HenkelX Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, as well as angel investors Nami Zarringhalam, Co-founder of Truecaller, Sriram Krishnan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Anna Lambert, Director of Product Acceleration at Shopify, Sarah Jones Simmer, CEO of Found & ex-COO of Bumble, Arpan Sheth, Senior Partner at Bain & Company, and others.
The proceeds from the funding round will be utilized towards developing its product, hiring more people to double its team over the next 18 months, and accelerating growth and expansion across tier 1-3 cities across India.
The one-year-old startup, founded by Akanksha Hazari, claims to revolutionize the very way how India shops, by empowering local retailers and digitizing the unorganized retail market- something that is sorely needed even as e-commerce behemoths is gaining dominance in the markets at the cost of local businesses and retailers, who represent 95% of the retail market.
LoveLocal provides subscription-based software solutions, which range from ₹1000 to ₹8000 to local retailers, and operates a hyperlocal online marketplace, focussing mainly on categories like grocery, medicines, fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy.
It provides actionable insights so that retailers can manage their businesses more effectively and claims to have grown by 40 times in transaction volume terms ever since it made its debut. It currently has a presence in over 35 cities and 1,300 pin codes across the country. It has the largest online catalog of daily essential items in the country, with 55,000 products sold across 145 categories.
In 18 months, it has signed up more than 100,000 retailers and fulfilled more than 1 million orders. It aims to onboard 1 million merchants in the next three years.