The money will be used to expand the technology and product teams with a focus on machine learning for discovery, and integration of content with commerce.
Little Black Book (LBB), a recommendations platform for places, services and events, has raised Rs 35 crore in a funding round led by Inventus India and IAN Fund.
Dhruv Mathur, the company’s cofounder, said the money will be used to expand the technology and product teams with a focus on machine learning for discovery, and integration of content with commerce.
Japanese investors Dream Incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and existing investors Blume Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures also participated in the round.
LBB is an organic community-driven recommendations and discovery platform, which over the last 18 months stepped up monetising by enabling commerce transactions on its website and mobile application. “We are helping our customers close the loop by reducing friction between discovery and transaction,” said cofounder Suchita Salwan.
According to Salwan, about 99.5% of the content on the platform is still organic, with 70% being generated by the 10,000-strong user community.
”Our thesis is that small to medium businesses find it very difficult to get discovered on social media and large marketplaces. LBB seeks to solve that and give today’s young consumer access to new brands and businesses,” said Mathur.
For 2017-18, the company more than doubled its revenue from a year ago to Rs 6.6 crore, while losses grew 27% to Rs 4.7 crore, regulatory filings show.
Till date, the company has raised about Rs 53 crore in funding.
“LBB’s product and brand that’s garnered immense organic traction and loyalty pan-India…They’ve made community a continued narrative in their promise to make local brands and businesses more accessible,” said Rutvik Doshi, managing director of Inventus India.
According to the company, about 20% users reading about the local business on the platform end up transacting.
The five-year-old platform reaches out to over three million users every month, connecting users to over 60,000 local brands and businesses across eight markets in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai.