The E-commerce industry has got further push due to the covid-19 emergency. Online retail giants like Amazon, Flipkart, and others recorded exponential growth in their user base during the pandemic era. But, do you know the major drawback of such platforms? They target metro cities people as the targeted audience.
DealShare, a social commerce startup from Rajasthan, targeted the second-tier cities and middle-income Indians via its WhatsApp based platform. Now, the startup has transformed itself into a technology-oriented e-commerce firm.
WhatsApp Journey of DealShare
Vineet Rao, Sankar Bora, Sourjyendu Medda, and Rajat Shikhar co-founded DealShare in September 2018. Most of the startups start their journey from metro cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi etc. But, DealShare broke that barrier and started its operations from Jaipur, Rajasthan.
DealShare began its journey through WhatsApp to sell mass-market products to tier-II and tier-III residents. Soon, the startup developed its app to sell products. The app was very simple with a buy button and address. The app was available in Hindi and English as the firm was targeting North Indian people.
As per DealShare claim, it made the app ready within two weeks without external support. The app became an instant hit among DealShare WhatsApp customers. As per the DealShare report, the online platform attracted 30,000 customers within 20 days. And, DealShare spent no penny on app marketing.
The simplicity, comfort, and relevancy of the app helped middle-class families to adopt the online environment.
Later, DealShare expanded its operations further by working on its technology to reach a wider audience.
Supply Chain Management and Further Growth
DealShare started creating its warehouses in different locations and collaborated with micro business firms to provide a positive impact on customers. It is also helped the startup to reduce the delivery costs and delivery time due to the availability of warehouses nearby customers.
The management team called the micro-business firms and the warehouse owners as its DealShare Dost(DSD). In-app features like Delivery and DSD panels created transparency between the DealShare team and its stockholders.
During the covid-19 pandemic, DealShare collaborated with the Rajasthan government to create a procurement system that helped 45,000 Kirana stores to earn a profit in a difficult time of lockdown.
DealShare kept customers feedback as a priority while going forward with business operations and technology development. That is why since 2018, it upgraded the DealShare app 25 times based on customers’ feedback.
The startup also faced some issues due to the limited knowledge of the internet by its users. Middle-class families are less aware of internet operations compared with metro users. Poor network connectivity was another big hurdle in the road of DealShare success.
Group buying, gamified shopping, and social sharing are some of the major techniques applied by the startup to acquire more customers and increase revenue.
Today, the startup raised a whopping $144 million to expand its south Asia market operations. With the latest funding, the startup also has plans to go global, as reported by TechCrunch. It helped the startup to reach a valuation of $455 million.
Currently, DealShare has its operations in over 40 cities of five major states including Delhi, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. It has 20 warehouses and plans to make it 200 by the end of 2021.
The startup told to Entrackr that it delivers 2 million orders per month with an average size of Rs 1000- Rs 1200. In FY20, the company saw a growth of 18x to reach a revenue of Rs 58.71 crore from Rs 2.96 crore of FY19.