Bangalore-based Lookup, a free messaging app for local businesses, has raised US$116K from Japanese investors DeNA Co and Teruhide Sato, Founder of BEENOS group, an Internet and e-commerce business incubator group. With this, the startup has closed its seed round after raising a total of US$382K (INR 2.4 crore).
Prior this funding, Lookup raised US$100K from MKS Switzerland SA, a precious metals and financial services group of companies and US$166K from Infosys Co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan.
“I am happy to join the Lookup journey. India is a very big and exciting market for investors around the globe now. We feel Lookup is a great idea and has the potential to gain the local market,” said Sato.
DeNA runs a mobile social games platform Mobage, which offers first, second and third party games on multiple localised player networks worldwide. Sato is the President and CEO of netprice.com. He has also launched an online payment company CyberCash in the Japanese market with the Softbank Corporation.
Deepak Ravindran, Founder and CEO, Lookup, said, “Both our recent investors have strong foothold in the mobile space and have successfully led innovations in Japan, their enriched experience will further add to our vision”.
The app helps users to chat with the local stores for reservations, and product and price enquiries. The consumers get guaranteed answers from their local businesses within five minutes. It claims to have over 200 verified shops on the platform receiving over 10,000 messages daily. The top three queries so far have been for reservations, product pricing and availability, and appointments.
Apart from helping local businesses and consumers, it has recently joined forces with Koramangala Police Station in Bangalore to help the public connect with the police over chat to ensure safety. Since the app is location based, the authorities can pinpoint the exact location of the victims in case of emergencies. Lookup will be running a week long campaign “MOSHI MOSHI” meaning Hello in Japanese and will be giving away free Sushi to the Lookup-ers (downloaders).