Infosys co-founder and ex-chairman of UIDAI Nandan Nilkani has invested Rs 25-30 crore in 10i Commerce Services, the parent company of e-commerce platform ShopX, as indicated by Economic Times yesterday. ShopX will use the funding to expand across “hundreds of towns and cities in India”, added the report.
ShopX claims to enable offline retailers and smaller shop owners to sell online using its ecommerce platform. It currently claims to have 13,000 registered retailers, 10,000 unique products with operations in over 150 towns across India, and operated in stealth-mode since incorporation in March 2015, as per the report.
The startup operates in three ways as per information on its website:
–Retail app for sellers: The seller app allows small shop owners and other retailers to build their own customized online storefront. Sellers are assisted with in-app mobile phone/DTH recharges, listing and categorization of products, creation of custom deals and offers, and other utility apps for download within the app.
–App for consumers: Products listed by these sellers will be displayed on an app for consumers. They can place an order within the app and get it delivered to their doorsteps. The company says that “customers can place orders without the need for internet to their nearest retail store,” although we are not sure how this is possible; probably after browsing through products a user’s order could be sent as and SMS. MediaNama has written to the company for more clarifications, and will update the story when we hear from them.
–Retail network management app: This app assists sellers/retailers by displaying an on-demand dashboard for real-time transaction monitoring, order performance or status, route planning for delivery, and first-mile to last mile logistic management.
Apart from this, it is not very clear how the company monetizes from its range of services; we have asked about this in a query sent to ShopX.
Nilekani’s previous investments
ShopX is Nilekan’s 7th investment in this year, and the first into an e-commerce company.
-Last month, he had invested around $25 million into KKR India, a real-estate based non-banking finance company (NBFC), as reported by TOI.
-In the same month, he invested an undisclosed amount into eye-care hospital chain Drishti.
– In May, Travel travel app RailYatri.in had received an undisclosed amount of funding from Nandan Nilekani. RailYatri claims to have served nearly 2 million users per month and can be used to book services like onboard meals, taxi and bus tickets, and budget rooms.
-In March, Sedemac Mechatronice, a company that builds controls and small engines for Tata Motors, Mahindra, TVS, etc had raised $7.5 million from Nandan Nilekani,
-In February, Traxcn Technologies, a data analytics firm for startups had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Nilekani. Traxcn operates by surveying and collecting trends from startups, and subsequently helping VCs, private equity firms and corporates in their investment decision.
-In January, Power2SME, an online buying club for small and medium enterprises, had raised a fresh round of funding led by Nandan Nilekani. The company operates directly buying raw materials from manufacturers in bulk and selling it to SMEs, effectively eliminating need for wholesalers and distributors.
-In September 2015, Nilekani had made an undisclosed personal investment in Mubble, a smartphone app that lets users track their telecom spends and mobile data usage.