Iluminar Media, which owns and operates Little Black Book (LBB) a platform to find and shop from local brands and businesses said it has raised $ 5 million in Series A led by Inventus India and IAN Fund. Japanese investors Dream Incubator and Akatsuki Entertainment Technology (AET) Fund, and existing investors Blume Ventures, and Chiratae Ventures also participated in the round.
LBB will use the funds to expand the technology and product team with a focus on machine learning for discovery, and integration of content with commerce. The company also plans to strengthen its footprint in India and scale by integrating discovery with commerce for small-medium size businesses.
Co-founded by Suchita Salwan and Dhruv Mathur, LBB has raised $7.5 million till date with this round. Apart from institutional investors, the firm has also attracted angel investors such as Rajan Anandan, Sachin Bhatia and Niraj Singh supporting the company since inception.
“Our thesis is that small to medium businesses find it very difficult to get discovered on social media and large marketplaces. LBB seeks to solve that,” said Dhruv Mathur, co-founder of LBB.
“What attracted us most to LBB is how they’ve made community a continued narrative in their promise to make local brands and businesses more accessible,” said Rutvik Doshi, managing director, Inventus India.
A web and app-based platform, LBB reaches out to over 3 million users every month, connecting users to over 60,000 local brands and businesses across eight markets in India, including Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Over the past year, LBB said it has doubled its audience, grown its customer retention, and registered a growth of over 75 per cent in revenue.
“We’ve been closely watching LBB’s growth and performance since 2017. The growth numbers have been fantastic and is a validation of the concept,” said Munehiko Eto, Managing Director, DIAI India Private Limited (the India entity of Dream Incubator Inc).