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P2P Rural Commerce Startup Rozana Raises Pre-Series A Funding

The funding round was also led by Europe’s IEG-Investment Banking Group

Angel investors Manisha Girotra, the CEO of Moelis and Surendra Kumar Jain, cofounder at Sequoia & Westbridge Capital also participated

The funds would be used to strengthen the platform’s tech capabilities and for expansion to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka

Peer-to-peer (P2P) rural commerce startup Rozana has raised $2.5 Mn in a Pre-Series A round led by 3one4 Capital and Europe’s IEG-Investment Banking Group. The round also saw participation from angel investors Manisha Girotra, the CEO of Moelis and Surendra Kumar Jain, cofounder at Sequoia & Westbridge Capital.

The startup would use the funds to strengthen the platform’s tech capabilities and expand its presence in the targeted geographies including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka over the next 12 months. 

Currently, it is operating in Lucknow, Kanpur, Bengaluru, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, New Delhi, Rae Bareli, Barabanki, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. 

In August last year, the startup had raised $1.5 Mn in funding led by IEG Investment Banking Group through its newly formed venture arm IEG India 12 Apostel. At the time, the startup launched its services only in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Lucknow and Barabanki.

Founded by Ankur Dahiya, Adwait Vikram Singh, Mukesh Christopher and Prithvi Pal Singh in 2021, Rozana’s social commerce platform looks at building exclusive partnerships with peers who wield community support (offline and online) to leverage the social network and the community for the expansion of the market.

Rozana’s tech solution enables micro-entrepreneurs to use the platform to onboard customers, share their latest deals and help them place orders online. 

A village-by-village strategy of its platform is driving product innovation, demand and supply optimisation for today’s D2C brands for over 1 Bn users, claimed the startup. 

In nine months, Rozana has reached over four lakh households and is working on a steady month-on-month growth, said the startup further in its statement. Rozana has a sustainable growth rising 30% month-on-month with healthy unit economics, said IEG’s Mihir Kapoor.

“We are excited to partner with Rozana in their journey to revolutionize consumption beyond tier 1 in India,” said Nitya Agarwal, VP at 3one4 Capital, commenting on the investment.

Rozana envisions becoming the leading P2P rural commerce platform in India, a sector that is projected to touch $70 Bn in the next 10 years. 

The startup is currently working on a roadmap to onboard 300 Mn users in the next two to three years.

As per a last year’s report, the Indian ecommerce market is expected to grow to $111.40 Bn by 2025 from $46.2 Bn in 2020. And by 2030, it is expected to reach $350 Bn.

The surging internet subscriber number and smartphone users across the country coupled with the Indian government’s digital drive have facilitated a quicker adoption of ecommerce and social commerce even in Tier-2 and 3 cities.

There were already reports last year that India would have 228 Mn native social commerce consumers by the end of 2022, which is a 45% jump from its 2021 user base. It was projected that shoppers would now start discovering newer ways of buying goods online through YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram.

In the new commerce segment, including social commerce and other creator-driven platforms, Rozana is competing with the likes of Meesho, Shop101, CityMall, OneCode. The Indian startup ecosystem has already started witnessing a rising wave of social commerce ventures. 

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