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Indian social commerce startup DealShare bags $45 million from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – TechCrunch


Indian social commerce startup DealShare bags $45 million from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority – TechCrunch

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is backing the Indian social commerce startup DealShare, the two said Thursday, joining a roster of marquee investors doubling down on India’s fast-growing e-commerce market.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is investing $45 million in DealShare, extending the size of the Jaipur-headquartered startup’s recently unveiled Series E financing round to $210 million. The round, which TechCrunch first reported about in late October, values DealShare at $1.7 billion and pushes its all-time raise to $393 million.

DealShare, which counts Tiger Global and Alpha Wave Global among its investors, operates a so-called social commerce startup through which it is serving customers in over 100 Indian cities and towns where the likes of Amazon and Flipkart have made little to no inroad.

To reach the masses, DealShare is “gamifying and socialising the elements of purchases,” said Rajat Shikhar, the startup’s co-founder and chief product officer, in an interview with TechCrunch. These strategies include incentivizing customers to buy in a group and inviting their friends as well as “bargaining” on prices, he said.

“We provide very high engagement on the platform because we are serving customers who are not so tech-savvy and have historically not made online purchases,” he said.

By giving incentive to customers to get their friends on the platform, DealShare has been able to considerably reduce its customer acquisition and order fulfilling costs, he added. On the platform, customers also negotiate on prices with the system, replicating a behaviour that is a norm in physical shops.

The startup also works with local brands and also operates its own ecosystem of in-house private labels to make its offering affordable to customers, he said.

“We aim to democratize online shopping for Bharat users with unmatched service and experience by developing innovative products and tech solutions. This will be supported by building our teams across the country and hiring new tech talent at all levels,” said Vineet Rao, co-founder and…

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