Text Mercato raises $646,000 in a 1Crowd led funding

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Bangalore: Text Mercato, a tech startup in the digital cataloging space has Rs 4.85 crore ($ 646,000) in a funding round lead by 1Crowd.

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

The city based Text Mercato operates in the digital cataloguing and associated content needs of e-commerce platforms and online retail.

Kiran Ramakrishna and Subhajit Mukherjee founded Text Mercato in 2015 primarily to solve the content needs of digital companies. Interestingly, the tech startup had posted profits for the three initial years.

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

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

While working on clients’ content needs, Subhajit Mukherjee and Kiran Ramakrishna 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.

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

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 catalog and content creation.

According to Subhajit Mukherjee, the absolute base on which any digital selling happens is the catalog 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,” said Mukherjee.

“Today, we are asking ourselves, why can’t a catalog be virtually ready even before the product is up for selling?! At Text Mercato, we are trying to solve it using technology which is at the core of our business and operating models,” added Mukherjee.

“Our aim is to disrupt the multi-department and multi-role problem of listing and marketing a product into one single seamless process,” said Kiran Ramakrishna.

“The company will focus on end-to-end stack, single sign-on, central management and scale across languages,” added Ramakrishna.

“Text Mercato’s content and catalog automation solutions enable brands, online vendors and marketplaces with effective product listings at scale, while also being faster and economical,” commented Anup Kuruvilla, Co-Founder 1Crowd.

“We are delighted to partner with Text Mercato in their quest to establish themselves as the leading cataloging automation solutions provider,” added Kuruvilla.

Text Mercato currently serves over 100 clients which include several leading online retail and e-commerce players like Myntra in India and 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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