Bengaluru-based Pankhuri, a social community platform for women, today announced it has raised US$3.2 million (about Rs 23 crore) in a new funding round led by Sequoia Surge, India Quotient, and Taurus Ventures. Sequoia’s Surge is a rapid scale-up program launched by Sequoia Capital India.
Founded in September 2019 by Pankhuri Shrivastava, Pankhuri is an online social community platform for women in India to network, learn and shop through live streaming, chat, and cohort-based sessions. Through its platform, A Women can become active participants in online beauty and lifestyle conversations instead of being passive consumers.
Pankhuri provides users with information on topics like beauty and personal care through different video formats, such as live and short videos, while encouraging ongoing conversation with expert creators through hosted live sessions.
Speaking on the development, Pankhuri Shrivastava, CEO & Founder of Pankhuri, said:
“For many women, the thought of going online can be a daunting experience, given the rise in online bullying and trolling. Pankhuri was created with the ambition to break down these barriers faced by millions of women in India while improving their digital literacy and empowering them to regain their right to expression.”
While there are 240 million digitally connected women in the country, but only 27% of them using social media, the company said in a statement.
The company also said it currently boasts a completion rate of 95% for its live-stream sessions and has a community of more than 250,000 active women, of which around 60% have attempted transactions via micropayments on the platform since January 2021.
Madhukar Sinha, Founding Partner, India Quotient, said:
“The characteristics of the vertical — high AOV, very sticky users, and curiosity for newer products and trends make high engagement, creator-driven social commerce a promising opportunity. The tremendous traction and love from women for creator-driven content is building up a thriving and sticky community on Pankhuri.”
The two-year-old platform counts ShareChat co-founder, Farid Ahsan; Cred founder Kunal Shah, and co-founder of Mobile Premier League, Sai Srinivas, as its angel investors.
Pankhuri Shrivastava is also a co-founder of Grabhouse, A listing and transactional platform for finding rental accommodations. In November 2016, Quikr acquired Grabhouse for an undisclosed sum.