Smytten, a sampling and engagement platform for direct to consumer (D2C) brands, has raised $6 million in its Series A round led by Fireside Ventures. Existing investor Roots Ventures also participated in the round. Sharrp Ventures (Mariwala family office), Survam Partners (Suman Kant Munjal family office) and Waao Partners (Pratul Shroff family office), are its other investors.
The startup plans to invest the funds towards enhancing consumer engagement, allowing D2C brands to better assess market-fit, retention, product marketing and communication strategy and more. It will also utilize a part of its fund to further expand its user base on the ecommerce side, and to build faster trial experience capabilities.
In 2019, Smytten raised an investment of $1.5 million in its pre-series A from Roots Ventures that also participated in the current funding round.
Founded by ex-Googler Swagat Sarangi, and ex-Unilever executive, Siddhartha Nangia in 2015 as a luxury product sampling service. However, the broken supply chain for the luxury brands in India has pushed the company to pivot to focus largely on direct-to-consumers (D2C) as well as premium brand sampling across fragrances, beauty, makeup, male grooming, food and beverages, baby and mother care along with health & wellness categories.
It targets consumers between 20 to 35 years who have disposable incomes and are willing to experiment with products they use.
Currently, Smytten claims to have more than five million users who can try products from over 700 brands at a minimal or no cost before they decide to buy. These brands include both D2C players such as Mamaearth, Plum, mCaffeine as well as premium brands such as Kama Ayurveda.
“Pre-purchase buying experience will be the biggest enabler and will fuel the burgeoning Indian D2C market which is projected to touch $100 billion in next four to five years,” Sarangi said. “We believe this sampling-led tried-and-tested method of customer engagement will change the way D2C brands and consumers interact, making it more immersive and experience-based.”
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