Sulekha.com, an online social media and local commerce destination for Indians, has received $10 million funding from Promod Haque’s global technology venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners (NVP).
Sulekha.com is a trailblazer in integrating social media with local commerce and has been quite successful in integrating its user-generated media and commerce in 25 cities worldwide. Sulekha’s global, interactive platform connects millions of Indians online and serves several corporate customers and small to medium sized businesses. Sulekha.com claims to feature over 10 million pages of content, nearly all of them contributed by hundreds of thousands of its members.
The website plans to use the new capital to extend business development and marketing primarily through alliances and expand its service offerings into new vertical markets. Sulekha, founded and run by President and CEO Satya Prabhakar, received prior funding from the Indigo Monsoon Group (IMG) led by Param Parameswaran and Harish Raghavan. IMG invests in early stage companies in the Indian Internet and mobile domains.
“Sulekha has been a Web 2.0 company even during the Web 1.0 days. It has positioned itself at the vortex of three of the largest Internet mega-trends – India, social media and local commerce through industry-leading services, including Blogs, Social Networks, Classifieds and Yellow Pages. While the management of Sulekha has done a great job of developing reach and revenue, the real explosive potential – both in online and mobile platforms – is still in front of us,” said NVP’s Haque.
“NVP is one of the most reputed venture capital firms in the world with more than 45 years of experience in building successful companies. This, coupled with NVP’s strong interest, many investments and relationships across various industries in India, made NVP a great choice for Sulekha as we pursue aggressive growth plans in the coming year,” said Prabhakar.
“The marriage of trusted member-to-member interactions and its application to classifieds and business search/ratings holds incredible promise in spurring local commerce in India. Sulekha’s successful track record of aggregating member content and interactions by city and by vertical areas of interest will allow us to deploy the new capital to dominate this market niche,” said Param Parameswaran, Chairman of IMG and Sulekha.com.