Accel Partners, Shunwei Capital and Good Capital were some of the investors. The most recent round raised $8 million.
Simsim is a video site that advertises products using influencers, with the products available for purchase right underneath the videos.
“Despite eCommerce players bandying out major discounts, most of the sales in India are still happening in brick-and-mortar stores. There is a simple reason for that: trust,” said Amit Bagaria, co-founder of Simsim, who used to work at Paytm.
Bagaria said that many Indians aren’t comfortable with reading descriptions of products, especially in English. The videos are in different local languages based on the user’s preference.
“Videos help in educating users about the category. So many of them may not have used face masks, for instance. But it becomes easier when the community influencer is able to show them how to apply it,” said Rohan Malhotra, managing partner at Good Capital.
Bagaria said that users can follow influencers and see what past items they’ve sold, as well as stay on top of future sales.
“This interactiveness is enabling Simsim to mimic the offline store experience,” Malhotra said. “The beauty to me of social commerce is that you’re not changing consumer behavior. People are used to consuming on WhatsApp, and it’s working for Meesho. Over here, you are getting the ‘touch and feel’ experience and are able to mentally picture the items much clearer.”
The company takes care of the inventory, which it gets from various brands and manufacturers.
“Several Indian cities and towns are some of the biggest production hubs of various high-quality items. But these people have not been able to efficiently sell online or grow their network in the offline world,” Bagaria said. “On Simsim, they are able to work with influencers and market their products.”