91mobiles.com (91Digital Web Private Ltd.) has raised close to USD 1 million in a pre-Series A round from a set of investors led by India Quotient.
91mobiles.com is the largest gadget research site in India, with over 7.5 million visitors per month. The website provides information & interactive tools to help users research which mobile phone or gadget best suits their needs.
The company was launched in mid-2010, with a small team of 4-5 people, and was able to build reach to 30,000 users per day, in its first year of launch. The user-base has doubled every year since then, to reach over 250,000 users per day in 2014. The company is now 45-people strong, and is head-quartered in Gurgaon, along with another office in Chennai. 91mobiles has an annual (net) revenue run-rate of over USD 1 million, and is aiming for 3-4X growth in the next two years.
The funds raised in this round will be invested in expanding the team, developing better research tools & content for the mobiles & tablets categories, and building a similar research experience for other gadget categories like wearables, laptops, cameras, and accessories. Funds will also be used to upgrade the existing mobile site and launch an Android application, as close to 50% of 91mobiles’ traffic is already coming from mobile devices.
The round of funding had participation from Anand Lunia led India Quotient, and a few other individuals including Umang Kumar, founder & CEO of Gaadi.com, and Krishna Motukuri, ex-CEO of Tradus.com.
91mobiles drives close to USD 100 million of gadget sales to retailers listed on the site, and earns affiliate revenue from online gadget retailers, including Amazon, Flipkart, eBay, etc. In addition, 91mobiles also works with most of the leading gadget& telecom brands, such as Samsung, Micromax, Asus, Dell, Airtel etc. to provide advertising and branding solutions to promote their range of productsto 91mobiles’ gadget enthusiast user-base.
The company was founded by Bharanidharan Viswanathan and Nitin Mathur. Bharani is a graduate from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, and was earlier the Co-founder & CTO of Accentium Web, where he was part of the team that built sites like Gaadi.com (later acquired by iBibo Group) andSecondshaadi.com. Nitin is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, and had earlier founded an online loyalty & reward venture, Privilege Corner, which was acquired by corporate gifting company, eYantra. Nitin started his career in investment banking with ICICI Securities & Lehman Brothers.