Marketing guru Goutam Challagalla invests in deal discovery app NearU


NearUMumbai-based deal discovery startup NearU has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Goutam Challagalla, a professor of marketing at business school IMD, Switzerland, it said in a statement.

"The NearU team is excited to have Goutam Challagalla as one of its investors as his expertise in marketing will help it pave the way for its future marketing plans and expansion in international regions," said Hemanth Meka Rao, founder and CEO, NearU Mobile Pvt. Ltd.

Founded in June 2015 by Rao, NearU is a location-based mobile app for deal discovery. The startup follows an online-to-offline model connecting users to outlets. The app showcases live information on exciting deals and offers run by nearby retail brands and outlets. The NearU app has streamlined the offers into nine categories—apparel, accessories, food & beverage, electronics, health & beauty, entertainment, home & living, hotels and automobiles. The startup has its presence in eight major cities across India.


Rao is also a director at Mumbai-based Meka Group which has interests in civil and marine construction, dredging and reclamation, subsea pipelines, port construction and development, real estate, IT and healthcare.

"NearU app is an innovative marketing platform for the retailers and I see a lot of potential in its vision," said Challagalla.

Challagalla has advised several Fortune 500 companies including IBM, HSBC, UPS, EY (formerly Ernst & Young), GE and Swatch Group, among others.


Deal discovery is not a new concept in India. Snapdeal was started as a deal and discount discovery startup. Groupon—which is now renamed as Nearbuy—also operates in the same space.

Of late, a couple of startups operating in the space elicited investors' support.

In July, Delhi-based student deals platform BigDeal raised $100,000 in seed round of funding from EVC Ventures.


Earlier this year, Shouut, a social discovery app run by Giant Tech Labs Pvt. Ltd, raised $500,000 in angel funding from an unnamed high net-worth individual.

Jetstartus Technology Pvt Ltd, which runs restaurant deal startup Pocketin, raised seed investment of $150,000 from Hong Kong-based Swastika Company Ltd.

Little Internet Pvt. Ltd, which owns the deals discovery app Little, raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Pvt. Ltd.


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