NowFloats, a startup that helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India get an online presence, has raised US$10 million in Series B round of funding from mid-stage technology VC fund Iron Pillar and IIFL Seed Ventures Fund.
Existing investors Blume Ventures and impact investor Omidyar Network have also co-invested.
The Hyderabad-headquartered company plans to invest this capital primarily on customer support and engagement. A portion of the capital will go into further improving the new technology stack — a hybrid of automated and human interaction support system. It also plans to enable the larger enterprises to leverage automated SEO on top of their existing websites.
With respect to SMEs, NowFloats aims to go beyond discovery by simplifying online and offline transactions. It will continue to invest in Digital Desh Drive, which has been in instrumental in understanding the market, especially the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India.
Neeraj Sabharwal, Co-founder, NowFloats, said: “At NowFloats, we have always believed that an SME needs to talk about their business regularly (talk about product features, new offers/events, reviews, etc.) to attract more customers online. Our product is geared towards making it as simple as possible for business owners to interact and add updates to their online identity. This is what primarily fuels the automated SEO engine of NowFloats.”
Founded in May 2012 by CEO Jasminder Singh Gulati, COO Nitin Jain, CXO Neeraj Sabharwal and Ronak Kumar Samantray, NowFloats helps offline businesses become relevant online. It does this by bringing the business online, auto prompting and optimising content for local search, and integrates with inventory and enables transactions. All this is done via the NowFloats Boost app or by SMS.
“We at NowFloats want to redefine the market for business websites, where the business owners only have to worry about the content on the website, and the technology takes care of other aspects like design, performance, discovery (SEO), marketing (SEM), enabling transactions (payment gateway) and customer/lead management, etc. We are investing in creating a product that would be one day used by all the SMEs across the globe, and built out of India.”
NowFloats has a presence across 230,000-plus businesses, of which up to 80 per cent are paid. The platform also registers over 11 million unique visitors a month, and has 474,000 SKUs in its credit, it said in a press release.
In February 2015, NowFloats raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding led by Omidyar Network, with participation from Blume Ventures, Mumbai Angels and Hyderabad Angels.
Last July, the company acquired Lookup — a free business chat app founded by Deepak Ravindran and backed by the likes of Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone, Beenos Founder Teruhido Sato and Khosla Impact.