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Niki plans $30 mn fund raise, targets $100 mn run rate

The B2C commerce platform, which lets users carry out transactions using voice commands, has launched in Hindi, Bengali and Tamil, and has recorded about 800,000 transactions from this segment in the past year.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 13, 2019, 12.25 PM IST
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The company, which has seen growth in tier 2 towns and beyond, is set to more than double its geographic presence to 25,000 towns from 12,000 by March.
Niki.ai has raised an undisclosed amount from US fintech fund EMVC, the conversational commerce platform said on Tuesday. It is also looking to raise $20-$30 million in growth financing early next year, the company’s founder Sachin Jaiswal told ET, without providing further details.

He said it was on track to cross $100 million in volume run rate by March, aided by growth from smaller towns. The company's volume run rate is currently about $40 million.

Jaiswal said it planned to grow gross merchandise value to $1 billion by 2021, on the back of scaling up its business in other languages and adding new towns as well as services.

“Currently, we have a share of wallet of Rs 14,500 and we want to increase this to Rs 50,000 in two years by offering newer services on the platform,” Jaiswal said. The company, which has seen growth in tier 2 towns and beyond, is set to more than double its geographic presence to 25,000 towns from 12,000 by March.

Much of its growth has been through word-of-mouth, but the company has now started working with influencers on social media platform TikTok to drive awareness. Jaiswal said it is also working with local merchants who act as kiosks for its services.

“Niki is changing the commerce landscape of India by unlocking a completely new user base for 1000’s of service provider companies….From a global perspective, Niki is paving a new path for solving e-commerce and fintech distribution for the world’s emerging internet economy,” said Melissa Frakman, Managing Partner, EMVC.

The B2C commerce platform, which lets users carry out tasks using voice commands, has launched in Hindi, Bengali and Tamil, and has recorded about 800,000 transactions from this segment in the past year.

“The focus now is on turning India’s 500 million new internet users into transacting consumers. We will soon be launching seven more languages over the next year, in addition to expanding geographically,” said Jaiswal. Local language capabilities have helped it grow, he said.

“Since realigning our focus to cater directly to language-first consumers, we have seen brand virality and 30% month-on-month growth. For 84% of our Hindi transactions, it’s the user’s first transaction online,” Jaiswal said.

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