Pankhuri, a Bengaluru-based social community platform for women, on July 13, said it has raised $3.2 million (about ₹23 crores) in funding led by Surge, a rapid scale-up program by Sequoia Capital India, alongside India Quotient and Taurus Ventures.
Founded in 2019, Pankhuri is a platform for women in India to network, learn and shop through live streaming, chat, and cohort-based sessions. The platform enables women to be active participants in online beauty and lifestyle conversations instead of being passive consumers.
CEO and Founder, Pankhuri Shrivastava said, “Women face social barriers which restrict them from pursuing their aspirations and socializing 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 fulfill their aspirations, explore, get answers and engage with experts and creators for all things beauty and lifestyle related.”
More Indian women are also going on the internet for the first time, with the country adding 15-20 million new users every month. This has led to a rise in female digital consumers who are now accessing content and buying products online. This digital influence has become a game-changer for India’s $18 billion beauty market as women are replacing traditional ways of discovery (print and TV ads) with social media and creator-driven discovery of products.
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.
Angel investors that have invested in Pankhuri include ShareChat co-founder, Farid Ahsan; Cred founder Kunal Shah, and co-founder of Mobile Premier League, Sai Srinivas.
The startup was a part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals work, live, and learn better in a rapidly evolving post-pandemic world.
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