LBB raises 6.5 crore from Blume Ventures and existing partners.
Iluminar Media, which owns and operates Little Black Book/LBB, a local recommendations and discoveries platform, has raised INR 6.5 crore from Blume Ventures - India’s leading tech-focused early stage VC. Existing partners, IDG Ventures and Indian Angel Network (IAN) also participated in this round. LBB will use the newly raised funds to expand the company’s geographical footprint and scale its revenue streams through integrated offerings to its consumers and local businesses.
In 2016, LBB had raised $1.2 million (about INR 8 crore) round of funding, led by venture capital firm, IDG Ventures India, and Indian Angel Network (IAN). In 2015, they had raised a seed investment of $150,000 (just over INR 1 crore) from a group of angel investors which included names like Rajan Anandan, Sachin Bhatia and others.
Co-founded by Suchita Salwan and Dhruv Mathur, LBB is a platform to share and discover local businesses across the categories of food, shopping, events and activities. Currently, the platform uses community driven recommendations as a medium to drive an engaged audience of millennials to local places, services and experiences. A web and app based platform, LBB today reaches out to over 2 million users every month across 8 markets in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai. The platform has grown over 300% with respect to user-reach, over 500% with respect to revenue growth, and from 1 to 8 cities in the last 12 months.
Sanjay Nath, Managing Partner at Blume Ventures said, "We are excited to partner with Suchita, Dhruv and team LBB in their next phase of growth, as they strengthen their tech platform and expand their Pan-India footprint. What attracted us most to LBB was its dynamically curated approach to discovery - its integrated platform, augmented by a team of curators, has kept its loyal customer base sticky and growing at a fast pace. Further, it has been able to execute innovative and targeted campaigns for marquee brands, creating a recurring revenue stream.”
Karan Mohla, Executive Director at IDG Ventures said, “LBB has grown phenomenally in the past couple of years driven by Suchita and Dhruv’s inspiring leadership and impeccable execution. User consumption on digital platforms will be increasingly driven by their digital community and pushed out in the form of UGC. The LBB platform is the de facto standard for user recommendations across India and we continue to be excited by the company’s potential and path forward.”
Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder at Indian Angel Network (IAN) said, “We are proud to have continued the trend of nurturing promising start-ups & are delighted to see the way the company has grown manifold since IAN invested. Suchita & Dhruv – have grown LBB to become one of the most sought after discovery platforms. IAN is delighted to support LBB in their next round of funding.”
Rishabh Mehta, Founder & CEO LOCAD Pte Ltd & IAN Nominated Board Director, LBB quoted, “The last 12 months have been an interesting journey at LBB. Lot of changes in terms of product, team and positioning have happened which further strengthen its value proposition and makes it much more robust and scalable. LBB has been able to crack the mantra for creating continuous user engagement and increased spending by advertisers which is clearly illustrated with almost 5x increase in revenue since last year. We are delighted with the progress and happy to further support the founders and LBB team in this new round. We look forward to LBB’s next level of growth across India and International.”
On the fundraise, Suchita Salwan & Dhruv Mathur, Co-Founders, Little Black Book/LBB said, “We’re happy to have found partners in Blume Ventures, IDG Ventures and IAN as we move into the next phase of growth which will primarily be focused on scaling our user-base, and strengthening our product promise to our consumers and customers.”
On the way ahead, they said, “International markets with a millennial audience is going to be the next big opportunity for us, along with closing the loop in between information, intent and transaction within our product itself. We’d like to make it easier for users to discover and simply access and do the things they discover on LBB. We’re excited to build LBB to be the de-facto destination for all local discoveries and recommendations, globally. “
With over 30,000 recommendations across over 18 categories, LBB's grown to be the most trusted platform to discover and share information about local places, services and events. The company's revenue model today is primarily advertisement and lead generation based.