Hyderabad based NowFloats, which helps local businesses get online, has raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding from Iron Pillar and IIFL (Seed Ventures Fund I & Cash Opportunities Fund), and existing investors Blume Ventures & Omidyar Network.
The company will use the funds primarily for customer support and engagement and better it’s technology platform. It mentions that it will invest in a hybrid automated and human interaction support system and start offering SMEs an automated SEO for their existing websites. Additionally, it mentions that it will look to go beyond discovery ‘by simplifying online and offline transactions’, likely by integrating payments in merchant websites.
NowFloats had previously raised an undisclosed amount in a series A round of funding from Omidyar Network, Mumbai Angels, Blume Ventures and Hyderabad Angels in 2015. Blume Ventures had previously co-invested in the startup, along with Mumbai Angels and other individual angels in August 2013.
NowFloats currently offers a platform for local businesses to get online by creating local content and managing & updating their online presence. For this, the company offers three flagship products Lighthouse, Wildfire and Dictate. Lighthouse offers merchants updates via its web portal, custom background on websites, unlimited gallery images and email addresses along with up to 500 email subscribers for Rs 25,000 per year.
Wildfire on the other hand offers organic traffic optimisation, along with driving inorganic traffic. The platform claims to auto-promote websites on channels like Google and Facebook at the cost of Rs 30,000 for 3 months. With Dictate, the company assigns a representative to understand the business and get the latest business updates, and post offers, updates or products on the website. This service costs Rs 40,000 per year.
Other than this, NowFloats also provides an Android and iOS app ‘NowFloats Boost’, which lets users create a website as a nowfloats.com subdomain for free. The app integrates Facebook and Twitter letting users share content directly through the app. NowFloats currently claims to have over 230,000 customers of which over 80% are paid customers.