Glance - which owns video-platform Roposo - on Monday said it is acquiring Shop101, as the InMobi group firm looks to bolster its position in the influencer-led commerce space in the country.
The acquisition - whose deal size was not disclosed - will provide Glance and Roposo end-to-end capability for launching celebrity and influencer-led LIVE commerce.
"We feel very strongly that mobile shopping and commerce is going to transform in many ways where there is going to be an interesting intersection of creators, content and commerce, which will come together...the acquisition will allow us to leverage their (Shop101) entire e-commerce technology and do this globally eventually on Glance and Roposo," Piyush Shah, Co-Founder of InMobi Group, and Glance President and COO, told PTI.
It will be a huge pillar of monetisation for InMobi, apart from advertising, he added.
While Shah declined to comment on the deal size, he said the 100 per cent stake acquisition in Shop101 will be a mix of cash and equity and that "this is the first major deployment of the funds raised in December".
Glance, a part of SoftBank-backed InMobi Group, had announced a $145 million (around Rs 1,071.6 crore) investment round from Google and existing investor, Mithril Capital in December last year. With that, the total fundraise by Glance stood at $190 million.
Glance delivers artificial intelligence-driven personalised content to screen zero of smartphones.
When a Glance user wakes up their phone, their lock screen has new visual and interactive content that is personalised for them. It has more than 125 million daily active users that spend 25 minutes per day using the platform.
Roposo has more than 33 million monthly active users who spend 22 minutes daily on the platform. It has about 3 million monthly active creators on the platform.
Shah said the live, influencer commerce model has seen huge success in China, accounting for about 20 percent of the total e-commerce sales.
"Even though it is still in an early phase in India now, the total addressable market for LIVE and interactive commerce in the country is expected to surpass %40 billion by 2025...This will be the second most important pillar for monetising Glance and Roposo beyond advertising.
“As we go global, expand and start monetising, this (commerce) will be almost half of our potential revenues in the next 3-5 years," he added.
The entire team of Shop101, including founders, will become part of Glance and Roposo and power e-commerce efforts of Glance, Shah said.
"We are not trying to compete on social commerce, but want to foray in a big way on influencer-driven commerce...We think we can integrate and launch in the next three months. We have been engaged with them in the last few months...we have been doing pilots already," he added.
The top executive shared various insights from these pilots. He noted that a "dramatic rise" in interest for influencer-led commerce was seen in tier II and III cities and that the average order value was between Rs 400-600.
"Another trend is how the creators and influencers are looking at the whole commerce piece and increasingly looking at this as a stable income-generating model, not a one-off cheque they would get for sharing a video on a short video platform," Shah explained.
Shop101 -- founded by Abhinav Jain, Aditya Gupta and Kalpak Chhajed in 2015 -- is a full-stack e-commerce company that has a network of 10 million resellers and 10,000 supplier partners, serving customers across over 2,000 towns in the country.
It employs around 300 professionals and has raised funds from Vy Capital, Stellaris Venture Partners, Unilever Ventures and Kalaari Capital.
“We had started Shop101 as a social e-commerce platform with a vision to democratise entrepreneurship and commerce for the masses using a technology-first approach.
“With Glance and Roposo, Shop101 will now be part of a company that shares our goal of transforming the shopping experience for millions of consumers globally,” Shop101 CEO Abhinav Jain said.