The Indian social commerce startup SimSim raises a $16 million combined funding from pre-seed, Series A and Series B Funding Round.
SimSim is an e-commerce company enabling community opinion leaders (influencers) to sell products to thousands of micro-communities in India. SimSim is building a horizontal e-commerce platform keeping in mind the shopping behavior of the Indian consumer – the need for trust and solutions in the local language.
Amit Bagaria, CEO of SimSim said, “The Indian consumer is used to a very different shopping experience offline – one which is social and highly interactive…Of course, all these are in the local language and dialects. It is this experience and method of shopping which we are replicating at SimSim.”
Just a seven-month-old startup, the social e-commerce platform had announced a total of $16 million combined funds from Series A and Series B Funding Round. In its most recent Series B round, SimSim reported an $8 million secured fund led by Accel Partners, Shunwei Capital and Good Capital.
The next wave of online commerce in India will be enabled by solving these unmet needs of the customer. SimSim uses a unique combination of content and commerce to help customers discover the right products for themselves.
The platform is also known as a developer of a video-based e-commerce platform. Below the video, the items are discussed while the item was also being shown. That’s how the customer learns about the product.
“Video helps in educating users about the category. So many of them may not have used face masks, for instance. But it becomes easier when the community influencer is able to show them how to apply,” told Rohan Malhotra, Managing Partner at Good Capital, in an interview with TechCrunch.
According to SimSim, they are planning to employ 100k influencers in the near future. “We have just begun our journey. Before the end of this year, we want to serve our customers in 20 different languages and target to have 10 million+ customers on the platform,” Bagaria said.
Currently, the platform is available in four languages – Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English. The new funds will also help the platform to add support for more languages.
Indian e-commerce has seen rapid growth in the past years. According to the IBEF report, e-commerce in India is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 51% from 2017 to 2020 which was listed as one of the highest in the world.
“Several Indian cities and towns are some of the biggest production hubs of various high-quality items. But these people have not been able to efficiently sell online or grow their network in the offline world. On SimSim, they are able to work with influencers and market their products,” added Bagaria.
Commenting on social commerce, Malhotra said, “The beauty to me of social commerce is that you’re not changing consumer behavior. People are used to consuming on WhatsApp – and it’s working for Meesho. Over here, you are getting the touch and feel the experience and are able to mentally picture the items much clearer.”
SimSim calls its partner influencers as “Community Opinion Leaders”. These influencers are the ones producing and uploading informative videos about the products sold on the platform.