Exclusive: Fashion search platform SeenIt raises pre-Series A funding

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Co-founders Ankita Sancheti, Vedanta Kumar, Saksham Karwal

Co-founders Ankita Sancheti, Vedanta Kumar, Saksham Karwal

SeenIt Online Pvt. Ltd, a Kolkata-based startup that operates artificial intelligence-powered fashion search platform SeenIt.in, has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from Calcutta Angels Network (CAN) and Augment Ventures, the company’s co-founder Saksham Karwal told News Corp VCCircle.

Augment Ventures is an early-stage, sector-agnostic venture fund.

“Our entire focus is on the product. We will use this money to build and improve features, and beef up our design and engineering teams,” said Pradyumna Dalmia, founder, Calcutta Angels Network, adding that SeenIt was already among the top five traffic drivers to some of the leading fashion e-commerce sites in India.

SeenIt last raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Housing.com investor Vineet Singh, Dalmia (in personal capacity), and Tanvi Rangwalla, head of Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at IIM Ahmedabad, among others.

Founded in April 2015 by Wharton School alumni Ankita Sancheti, Saksham Karwal and Vedanta Kumar, SeenIt helps consumers find items they love but don’t know where to get. Users can post an image of something they want and members of the SeenIt community, comprising fashion stylists and home decorators, help them with answers. The platform claims 500,000 visits per month with most of the traffic coming from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai.

“SeenIt allows users to post their questions in the form of images from Instagram, Snapchat or even tabloids of products they want to track down. Unlike other platforms that focus on users sharing and liking inspirational photos, SeenIt focuses on actually bridging the gap between inspiration and purchase, estimated to be a $50-billion market globally. More than 5,000 questions are asked and answered every week,” Karwal claimed.

The company is currently working with about 20 brands, including US-based Moda Operandi, Flyrobe, Puma, Nike, Koovs and LabelLife, among others. SeenIt runs paid campaigns for these brands on its platform.

SeenIt also plans to introduce a personalised feed and add new revenue streams, including personalised ads and transactions on the platform.

The company recently graduated from Axilor Ventures’ accelerator programme. Infoedge CEO Hitesh Oberoi and ex-Wipro CTO IVK Vijaya Kumar act as advisors on the company’s board.

SeenIt competes with Tiger Global-funded Roposo and Wooplr. However, Wooplr has pivoted from a hyperlocal discovery platform to a pure-play e-commerce platform. It raised $8 million (around Rs 53.6 crore) in Series B funding earlier this year from Sistema Asia Fund (SAF), a proprietary fund of Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC.

Roposo is the highest-funded startup in the domain, having raised $21 million (Rs 140 crore) so far.