Influencer-led commerce app Marsplay raises funds from Venture Highway

Influencer-led commerce app Marsplay raises funds from Venture Highway
L to R: Misbah Ashraf and Ayush Shukla, co-founders of Marsplay
11 Sep, 2019

Influencer-led commerce platform Marsplay has raised an additional round of funding from Venture Highway and angel investors including Alvin Tse, global head, Pocophone at Xiaomi and Jonathan Lau, partner at Cadorna Ventures.

Existing angel investors including the personal office of Shailesh Rao, partner, TPG Growth and Nikhil Mohta, director, ICICI Ventures also participated in the round.

The company had earlier raised seed capital from former Youtube India head Amit Agarwal, Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO, Bounce and Shamir Karkal, founder, and others.

“Fashion-led product discovery has been shifting away from eCommerce websites to social networks but the discovery to purchase process is still disconnected. In Marsplay, we have found a single platform that provides users with a seamless discovery of fashion trends and the ability to purchase their chosen product with a single click,” said Samir Sood, founder, Venture Highway in a statement.

Social commerce relies on social media platforms including Instagram and WhatsApp to market and sell products. Video-led social commerce has seen an uptick in usage as it cuts across language barriers.

Founded by Ayush Shukla and Misbah Ashraf in 2017, Marsplay’s app provides personalised and curated visual content on fashion trends with shoppable links to brands. 

Marsplay currently works on the affiliate marketing model with fashion brands and is focused on building a community of beauty and fashion enthusiasts. The company will be utilising the capital to strengthen its product engineering team and creator community. 

“Fashion has always been about social cues, and while social platforms have amped up community interactions, fashion commerce has lagged behind with a massive gap between discovery and instant purchase. Also, current social platforms seem to be tone-deaf when it comes to local influences,” said Misbah Ashraf, co-founder, Marsplay in a statement. 

“We see our relationship with this crucial community as a symbiotic one - not only do we provide them with a platform to build their personal brand, but also one with the tools to monetise their creativity,” he added. 

Similar deals

The social commerce and influencer-driven space have seen heightened funding activity with big bets in the space.

In August, social commerce platform Meesho, which uses WhatsApp to sell, raised $125 million from Naspers, months after being backed by Facebook.

In May, the Bengaluru-based social commerce company GlowRoad raised $11.5 million from Korea Investment Partners and Vertex Ventures.

Sequoia Capital India and Leo Capital backed influencer-driven commerce platform Bulbulshop in March with $2 million.