CityMall a vernacular social e-commerce platform received an undisclosed amount of funding from Jitendra Gupta of Citrus Pay, Alvin Tse of Xiaomi, Manish Vij and Harish Bahl from Smile Group, Rishab Malik ex-co-founder of Droom, Rajesh Sawhney of GSF and M&S Partners among other marquee investors who do not wish to be named. CityMall sells lifestyle and household products with curated special discounted deals through peer to peer referrals via WhatsApp and also plans to target to next 200 million customers through this medium.
According to Co-Founder, CityMall, Angad Kikla, “We have received tremendous support from our investors and this funding will help us technologically develop and strengthen our supply chain while keeping our growth plans intact. We also focus on differentiated customer experiences that play a big role among the price-conscious audience enabling them to purchase online more easily.”
City Mall sells value for money household and lifestyle items and focuses on curating special discounted deals being leveraged via the networks of individual customers within WhatsApp. The company offers discounted offers on a product selected, post which, each individual then shares the item within their personal network in the WhatsApp universe of 400 million users to gain referral deals on the items purchased. With very low prices this mechanism motivates users to have a more dynamic and interactive shopping experience.
On why CityMall chose WhatsApp as a medium, Co-Founder, Divij Goyal said, “WhatsApp is the most penetrated social network in small-town India with a maximum amount of time spent by a user on this platform. Using WhatsApp will provide very strong view-ability of deals shared for our products as compared to other social platforms like SMS. We will be doubling down on leveraging WhatsApp for downstream e-commerce workflows with more languages soon.”
CityMall’s model not only benefits consumers but also manufacturers, as direct shipping eliminates layers of middlemen, therefore, raising the profit. City Mall focuses on local branded and unbranded products to erase any premium that comes from branding as well. Above all, through the process of social sharing, the product’s marketing information rotates within the accurate niche audience. According to key investor Hiro Mashita, Founder and Director of M&S Partners Pte. Ltd., Singapore, “CityMall plans to cater to 200 million middle-class price-sensitive buyers with women belonging to the tier 2, 3 and 4 cities of India. They are marginally technologically inclined and typically social buyers. Through CityMall, we have found a platform that couples this behaviour and seamlessly integrates with WhatsApp to provide a differentiated way of shopping online.”
CityMall’s target audience is women in small-town India. They range between the ages of 25-34 years and are one of the fastest-growing customer segment. With this development, the company plans to add more women-centric products in addition to more languages on the platform soon.