Rocket Internet backs Indonesian online wedding marketplace Bridestory; what about Indian avatars?
Berlin-based investor and incubator of internet businesses Rocket Internet has invested an undisclosed amount in a Series A round of funding in Indonesian online wedding marketplace Bridestory marking its foray into the online wedding market last week.
The fund which has a huge presence in India in domains like lifestyle e-tailing, cab booking, online food ordering etc, also said that post this funding, there is huge potential to take Bridestory into other countries. This indicates a possible foray in the multi-billion dollar and largely unorganised Indian wedding planning market.
What remains to be seen is whether it expands into India through Bridestory or through an acquisition of an existing business. Although Rocket has built much of its India business grounds up, over the last 3-4 months its online food ordering venture FoodPanda struck two deals one involving acquisition of JustEat's Indian operations besides TastyKhana as part of a multi-geography deal involving its backer Delivery Hero.
One of the players in India is BigIndianWedding, which had previously raised a small sum in angel funding three years ago.
"Online wedding segment is a very lucrative sector. Unfortunately investors in India have not seen this that way so far. Rocket Internet has recognised the potential in the sector with this deal. I am sure this confidence will reflect positively for the Indian markets as well," Ashish Abrol, founder and chief executive officer of BigIndianWedding, said.
The four year old startup currently offers 48 categories across 31,000 listed vendors on its site.
It also offers an e-commerce division which caters to almost 15 per cent of the company's business. It operates in 15 cities including top metros and a few tier II cities such as Ludhiana, Indore and Surat. It plans to be present across 20 cities and expand its team to 45 people by the end of the year. Currently it has 28 employees.
The company is looking to raise Series A funding round worth around $2 million.
"In the online wedding space matrimony classifieds is a space that has been touched. But beyond that opportunity has not been touched in areas such as wedding planning, e-commerce etc. These are promising space for investors. One of the few things an investor would look at is that they should at least be national players," said Sunil Goyal founder of YourNest Angel Fund.
Another startup in this space is Indear.in. Founded in November last year, the Mumbai-based startup is an image-based search engine that enables its users to search for anything- from palace wedding to 'gota patti' (a type of Indian embroidery that originated in Rajasthan) lehenga. It has tie-ups with 150 brands like Taj, Shangri-la, Abu Jani, Sandeep Khosla, Amrapali, and Forest Essentials, among others.