NowFloats, a discovery platform which helps businesses get online and find more customers using proprietary auto-SEO technology, has closed a Series B funding of $10 Million via Iron Pillar and IIFL (Seed Ventures Fund I & Cash Opportunities Fund), along with Blume Ventures & Omidyar Network, who had invested in Series A as well. The company plans to invest this capital primarily on Customer Support & Engagement and on increasing the value proposition of the technology provided to SMEs.
NowFloats will invest the capital to further improve the new technology stack that drives customer support, it would now be a hybrid of automated and human interaction support system. Also NowFloats plans to enable the larger enterprises to leverage automated SEO on top of their existing websites. With respect to SMEs, NowFloats aims to now also go beyond discovery by simplifying online and offline transactions. The company plans to continue to invest in Digital Desh Drive which has been in instrumental in understanding the market, especially the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India.
Commenting on the announcement, Neeraj Sabharwal, Co-founder, NowFloats said, “At NowFloats, we have always believed that an SME needs to talk about their business regularly (talk about product features, new offers/events, reviews, etc.) to attract more customers online. Our product is geared towards making it as simple as possible for business owners to interact and add updates to their online identity. This is what primarily fuels the automated SEO engine of NowFloats. We started with simple SMS as the tool to manage website, and today 95% of our merchants prefer using Boost (a smartphone app) to manage their online business. There are also other players in the market which enable SMEs with an online identity that only aggregates basic business information and their product catalog. This strategy does not drive ROI over a longer time-span as the content becomes non-relevant with time. We at NowFloats want to re-define the market for business websites, where the business owners only have to worry about the content on the website, and the technology takes care of other aspects like design, performance, discovery (SEO), marketing (SEM), enabling transactions (payment gateway) and customer/lead management, etc. We are investing in creating a product that would be one day used by all the SMEs across the globe, and built out of India.”
Adding his bit, Anand Prasanna, Managing Partner, Iron Pillar, said, “NowFloats’ focus on product, and fundamental business sense resonates well with Iron Pillar’s beliefs that great businesses need to be built on solid foundations. We love working closely with this high energy team, and are eager to help them specifically in structuring and focusing sales efforts, growth initiatives in the next few years, and improving pre-identified key business metrics. We also look forward to help building the business meaningfully beyond India through Iron Pillar’s networks, especially in Asia Pacific and the US.”
The USP of NowFloats lies in the fact that it’s a frictionless mobile technology that connects online consumers to local offline businesses. With innovation deeply embedded in its very DNA, every 3 months NowFloats travels across India to uncover new tech behaviors and smartphone adoption, via its Digital Desh initiative.
Presently, the online discovery platform has an instant presence across 230,000+ customers, among which up to 80% are paid customers across all channels. The platform also registers over 11 million unique visitors a month, and has 474K unprompted SKUs in its credit.
Furthermore, NowFloats has a host of prestigious industry recognitions to its name, including the Microsoft BizSpark award, Nasscom Emerge 50 2013 award, Best App award by Google, and several other equally impressive titles.
In December 2016, NowFloats announced the appointment of Mr. Rajeev Goyal as the company’s Vice President of Growth & Strategic Projects. Also hired Mr. Mukesh Lohar as their Business Head for India and Asia Emerging Markets; where he would be chiefly responsible for creating and managing business streams for NowFloats.