Startup News: Online discovery platform Smytten raises $200K

Smytten, an online discovery platform for premium products and services, has raised $200,000 in a seed funding round led by Rimpal Chawla, former managing director of Credit Suisse Asset Management India, and Anuj Srivastava, chief executive officer of Bengaluru-based home design service provider and curated marketplace for homeowners and designers Livspace.

Smytten was co-founded by two graduates of Indian School of Business (ISB) Siddhartha Nangia and Swagata Sarangi. While Swagata Sarangi was most recently heading business marketing at Google, Siddhartha is an FMCG industry veteran and was a director at Unilever UK.

Smytten's model is to provide its target consumer base an opportunity to discover and try premium products along with content thereby providing a more engaging overall experience to them. In its first phase, the company will focus on products and services in the premium beauty and grooming, luxury stays, high-end fitness and wellness services and consumer lifestyle products and services.

"Despite the huge market for premium products and services, the information available is fragmented, interaction with brands is sub optimal, trial avenues limited, and the sector has massive consumer trust issues due to counterfeit products," co-founder Sarangi said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Smytten solves these challenges and offers what consumers in this segment value - one-stop discovery, free trials for experiencing the brands and recommendations for making purchasing decisions. Further, our personalisation features, made possible with our back end algorithm, focus on analytics, allow us to curate offerings for consumers as per their individual preference."

The premium and super premium market has grown exponentially in the last three years in India. Currently, the categories Smytten has a presence in is pegged at $6 billion, and is estimated to touch $20 billion by 2020, the company said, adding that it has tied up with more than 50 premium and super premium brands to offer consumers sampling experiences and the opportunity to purchase them online.

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