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Bengaluru, NFAPOst: Text Mercato, a Bangalore-based technology company serving the digital cataloguing and associated content needs of e-commerce platforms and online retail, has raised Rs 4.85 crores ($646,000) in a round lead by 1Crowd. 

Hong Kong-based startup accelerator Betatron, and angel investors Andrew Dell, former CEO of HSBC Africa, and Raaj Shah, the CFO of Sequent Software, also participated in the round.

Text Mercato was founded by Kiran Ramakrishna and Subhajit Mukherjee in 2015, primarily to solve the content needs of digital companies. It is noteworthy to mention that the company had filed profits for the three initial years. 

1Crowd is an early-stage venture investment fund and a platform set up in 2015 to provide an institutionalized approach to investing in startups. Over the last 5 years, it has created a unique ecosystem of investors, startups and mentors. 

Venture capital

The venture capital firm has invested over Rs. 100 crores in 31 startups across sectors ranging from enterprise tech and deep tech to B2C startups. It marked the first close of its fund at Rs 23 crores in 2018. The targeted AUM of the current fund is Rs 75 crores.

While working on clients’ content needs, Subhajit and Kiran identified the area of digital catalog-creation as a formidable problem to solve. The segment had little technology play beyond the use of CRMs. The team identified the need for a full-stack cataloging solution which could enable sellers to take their products online accurately, swiftly and at scale.

Towards the end of 2018, the AI-based Cataloging Product was conceptualised, and today the team has put together Cataloging.Ai, a suite of machine-learning-based products that are instrumental in the creation of structured digital catalogs. 

Image & text recognition

These include image and text recognition, text generation, online data processing and AI-based character recognition. In addition, Text Mercato has an extensive network of freelancers who form the services layer to enhance the process of catalogue and content creation.

Text Mercato cofounder Subhajit Mukherjee said the absolute base on which any digital selling happens is the catalogue of a product, and this also plays an important role in discoverability and customer experience. 

“We started challenging ourselves to take products online with better quality, and at a scale, the market hadn’t seen. Soon, we were the go-to catalogers for some leading Indian marketplaces. Today, we are asking ourselves, why can’t a catalogue be virtually ready even before the product is up for selling?!,” said Text Mercato cofounder Subhajit.

At Text Mercato, Text Mercato cofounder Subhajit said the company is trying to solve it using technology which is at the core of our business and operating models.

Commenting on the company funding, Text Mercato CEO and Cofounder Kiran Ramakrishna said the company’s aim is to disrupt the multi-department and multi-role problem of listing and marketing a product into one single seamless process. 

Central management

“The company will focus on the end-to-end stack, single sign-on, central management and scale across languages,” says Text Mercato CEO and Cofounder Kiran Ramakrishna.

ICrowd cofounder Anup Kuruvilla said ecommerce adoption as a secular trend across market segments globally got a further boost in the last few months due to the pandemic situation. 

“Text Mercato’s content and catalogue automation solutions enable brands, online vendors and marketplaces with effective product listings at scale, while also being faster and economical. We are delighted to partner with Text Mercato in their quest to establish themselves as the leading cataloguing automation solutions provider,” said ICrowd cofounder Anup Kuruvilla.

Text Mercato currently serves over 100 clients which include several leading online retail and e-commerce players like Myntra in India, The Luxury Closet in Dubai. The clients span industry segments like fashion, electronics, FMCG, hospitality, etc. Indian customers account for 75% of its revenue, while 25% comes from international clients.

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