Bangalore-based Lookup has raised $2.5 million in funding led by Khosla Impact and participation from Catamaran Ventures, Global Founder Capital and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Note that Lookup had raised a part of this funding back in May from Biz Stone. The platform will use the funds to expand its merchant base and to expand to other cities.
In January this year, Lookup raised $382,000 in seed funding from various investors. This included funding from Japanese investors Teruhide Sato and DeNA Co., other than $160,000 from Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and $100,000 from MKS Switzerland in December last year.
As of now, Lookup offers an Android and iOS app on which allows businesses and users to interact with each other. Users can search for a shop, service or product and then chat with them to get things done. For example users can share an image of their grocery list with the kirana store to get it delivered, or lookup a local mechanic when stuck with a flat tire etc. The app claims that users can book doctors, dentists, salons, get laundry washed, find markers, get electronics repaired and even look for the nearest petrol pump or ATM.
Users are not required to sign in to use the app. Businesses on the other hand need to go to settings to ‘Claim your business’, post which they can start representing the store. It’s not clear if the company verifies the businesses listed on the platform and how. Speaking to MediaNama the company mentioned that it currently lists businesses as soon as they are claimed with a pin verification. Apparently businesses that provide their government granted business certificate to the company are subsequently listed with a blue tick near them.
However, we feel this still has scope for misuse, for example a rival merchant could list themselves as the owner of another business to deliberately malign them. A verified phone number and photo of the business license can be obtained easily (some shopkeepers hang it in their shops), and there really is no work around other than physically verifying the shop and its owner. The company mentioned that it does undertake verification via executives, but only in some cases. As of now the company operates in three cities: Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
Road Runnr partnership: Last month, the Lookup partnered with Road Runnr for deliveries in all three cities it serves in. The platform claimed that any store keeper could sign up to provide deliveries through Lookup. A link for tracking the delivery would be sent by the company in the chat. Lookup was founded by Deepak Ravindran and claims to have answered over 3 million queries by its customers. The platform claims to have reached 1 million users with over 800k downloads of the Android app.