Sunday, June 16, 2024

Pankhuri raises $3.2 million in funding led by Sequoia India’s Surge

Pankhuri, a social community platform for women, today announced US$3.2 million in funding led by Surge, a rapid scale-up program by Sequoia Capital India for startups in India and Southeast Asia, alongside India Quotient and Taurus Ventures. Pankhuri is a platform for women in India to network, learn and shop through live streaming, chat, and cohort based sessions, enabling them to be active participants in beauty and lifestyle conversations online instead of being passive consumers.

Pankhuri was founded in 2019 to harness this opportunity by creating a safe, inclusive space for women to engage online. The platform currently provides users with information on topics such as beauty and personal care through various video formats : live and short videos, and encourages ongoing conversation with expert creators through hosted live sessions. Blending entertainment with social commerce, it allows users to browse content and ask questions tailored to their needs while shopping. Pankhuri currently boasts a completion rate of 95% for its live-streamed sessions and has a community of over 250,000 active women of which more than 60% have transacted via micropayments on the platform since January 2021.

CEO and Founder, Pankhuri Shrivastava said, “For many women, the thought of going online can be a daunting experience, especially given the rise in online bullying and trolling. Very often, these women also face social barriers which restrict them from pursuing their aspirations and socialising outside of their homes. Pankhuri was created with the ambition to break down these barriers facing millions of women in India, improving their digital literacy and empowering them to regain their right to expression. In building this inclusive online community, we want to provide them with a safe space to fulfil their aspirations, explore, get answers and engage with experts and creators for all things beauty and lifestyle related.”

“Beauty products and services are one of the first high involvement verticals which will get disrupted. The characteristics of the vertical – high AOV, very sticky users and curiosity for newer products and trends make high engagement, creator-driven social commerce a promising opportunity. The tremendous traction and love from women for creator-driven content is building up a thriving and sticky community on Pankhuri. I am eagerly looking at this fast evolution of product and community and it seems not very different from magic,” said Madhukar Sinha, Founding Partner, India Quotient.

Pankhuri is backed by India Quotient, Taurus Ventures and angel investors Farid Ahsan, Krishnan Menon, Kunal Shah, Sai Srinivas and Sweta Rau.

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