Tamil Nadu-based etownindia.com, an online listing platform for businesses in tier-2 and 3 towns, has raised seed funding from a group of US-based investors. So far, the company has raised $250,000 (Rs 1.3 crore) and is looking to close the funding round with further commitment from early stage investment group Blu Venture Investors' participation.
The seed round of funding of eTown includes investors from Blu Venture Investors like Pradeep Wahi, Kim Larson, Lance Ullom , who have invested in their personal capacity. The fund has also committed an investment of around $350,000 to the company.
Etown India Services Pvt Ltd runs the online platform that facilitates listings of businesses in various categories including schools, colleges, jewellery stores, apparel stores and departmental stores. In its business to business model, Etown charges from the companies it lists through annual subscription and under various packages. The portal, exclusively for Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns, is operating in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
Janardhanan S, founder and CEO, eTown said the company aims to provide a platform for businesses in small towns to connect with customers. eTown works by creating web pages for the companies with pictures of the stores and contact details on its own url. It has different packages, with the highest one offering a transactional website for the company.
It is through an investor from Capital Creations, the group that invested in Mani India Technologies, Janardhanan's 9-year old IT outsourcing company, that he met some of the eTown investors.
The company is building around 40 hubs, or group of towns in which they are offering their services, across India with the capital. With a team of 111 people, half of them building its physical presence, meeting companies, taking their pictures and gathering information, the company is trying to build a big network of SMBs in Tier2 and Tier 3 towns.