Even as the top ecommerce companies like Amazon and Flipkart are now planning to move into smaller towns and cities, DealShare, a unique online retailer has followed the reverse model of targeting the smaller towns in the country first. The startup has now raised funds as part of its seed funding and Series A round. The amount raised is $11 million and the key investor is Matrix Partners India along with Falcon Edge, DST Global and Omidyar Network. A few angel investors too have picked up tabs.
DealShare is typically a home-grown business, advising its customers to pool their requirements of grocery, vegetables, fruits and FMCG products like soaps, cleaning liquids, etc., as well as household merchandise such as linen, buckets, and mops. The pooling of orders by the customers can be with their friends or relatives or any other grouping. Small towns offer these facilities. The orders are then serviced by DealShare and apart from the price advantages that the customers gain there are other attractions as well for the customers to stay logged in. The company defines its motto as “Buy more, save more and buy with friends and save even more”.
DealShare is currently serving more than 3 lakh customers in the cities of Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Kota, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Sikar, Sawai Madhopur and Nagpur. The launch in towns in the state of Maharashtra is now underway.
DealShare will now use the funds now raised to expand the footprint into more tier 2 and tier 3 towns and also to invest in technology to improve the delivery logistics and other backend operations. The startup says they are able to service around 15,000 orders in a day and as mentioned above there are 3 lakh registered customers on board.
DealShare has developed a couple of flagship programs such as DealShare Dost (last-mile supply chain) and DealShare Dukaan (O2O store model). These are no different from the typical online to offline integration, which appears to be only viable solution in the Indian context and by involving the local kirana shops in the loop, a few other issues can be solved as well. They use the local languages extensively, which gives them faster penetration and acceptability. The objective is to touch the 5 million customer base in the next six months.
The founders and co-promoters of DealShare are Vineet Rao, former Microsoft techie; Sourjyendu Medda, former Sales Head, Metro Cash & Carry; Sankar Bora, former Co-founder & VP Operations, Myntra; Rishav Dev, former VP Operations, Grofers and Rajat Shikhar, former Chief Product Officer, Foodpanda.