Crownit, a local merchant discovery and privileges platform, has raised money from FreeCharge founders Kunal Shah and Sandeep Tandon, Freshdesk founder Girish Mathrubootham and ex-Snapdeal CPO Anand Chandrasekaran.
The company did not disclose the quantum of the money raised from these investors.
Targeting the offline merchants’ segment, Crownit has emerged as one of the largest players in the direct consumer discounts and deals category in India.
Sameer Grover, Founder & CEO, Crownit, said: “To be recognised and supported by some of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in the country is a major shot in the arm for us. It gives us tremendous confidence to see such belief in our business model and execution approach. We are building India’s largest offline deals company using app-only cost efficient cash-back approach. We are replicating the success of Meituan (China’s largest offline deals company) in India. We will continue to scale using product innovation without the need of large capital. Kunal, Sandeep, Girish and Anand acknowledge Crownit’s product focused approach and we will continue to build on that.”
Kunal Shah, Founder, FreeCharge, said, “Crownit has built a sustainable marketing program for offline merchants. The consumer engagement of Crownit has proven that the product really works and has wide acceptance. At scale across 25 cities and 50k merchants it will work beautifully. Crownit is clearly turning into the Meituan of India. Kudos to the team at Crownit which has helped in building such a comprehensive and economical platform!”
Anand Chandrasekaran , ex-CPO, Snapdeal, said, “Crownit and Sameer have built a product that’s both fun and beneficial for consumers, and has day-to-day usage relevance. They have focused on the right metrics and levers to drive habit-forming behaviour. As the O2O market is soon poised to become competitive in India, the winners will be the ones who have built a simple and intuitive customer experience.”
Sandeep Tandon, Founder, FreeCharge, said that the offline merchant segment is a big opportunity in India. “With 95 per cent fragmentation in this domain, it is a tough challenge to build a deals company that is acceptable to both merchants and consumers,” he said.
Girish Mathrubootham, Founder, FreshDesk, added that the business model of the company is disruptive and solving a big problem, which local merchants face in India.
Crownit has over 9,00,000 users and has over 15,000 merchants listed on the O2O platform. The start-up targets to have 20 million users and drive $1.2 billion of annual GMV across 25 cities in India by 2019.