The Bengaluru-based lifestyle-community-commerce platform, Trell, proclaimed that it has garnered a $4 million in pre-series A round. KTB Network, Sequoia Capital India-led programme, Surge, and Fozun RZ Capital led the funding round.
The existing investment companies, who participated in the funding round, are Beenext, WEH Ventures and Sprout Ventures. The company will be employing the funds to strengthen Machine Learning and artificial intelligence (AI) efforts. It will further infuse money in expanding its community and is planning to penetrate deeper into new tier-II markets in India by adding on ten regional languages by cessation of 2020.
“The Trell community is built on the pillars of authenticity and trust. The creation guidelines on Trell do not encourage selling or promoting a product directly. It's about telling your story and personal experiences that are helping thousands of micro-communities in India to make purchase decisions. This has led to an overwhelming creator and user love, strong word-of-mouth organic growth and a sharp decline in customer acquisition cost. Brands, as well as sellers, have been approaching us realizing the long-term potential of content-commerce in the presence of a strong community,” Prashant Sachan, Co-Founder at Trell, said
How Trell Helping Today’s Lifestyle Consumers
Trell is essentially a mobile application that helps the Indian users to share and ascertain personalized recommendations and product reviews beyond lifestyle interests like fashion, cooking, skincare & personal grooming, wellness, movie & web-show reviews, travel and home decor.
At present, the company has formed an ecosystem of regional influencers called KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) who are sharing localized and relevant content in five Indian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, and English.
The company was initiated by Bombay Alumni-Arun Lodhi, Prashant Sachan, Pulkit Agrawal and NITIE Alumnus-Bimal Kartheek Rebba. It has more than 15 million downloads and 5 million monthly active users on its app currently. It asserts to have grown twenty times in the last year and counts a community of 500,000 content creators, who published 1.2 million content pieces on its platform, which attracted over 300 million views as of January 2020.
“Today, over 400Mn Indian Language internet users struggle with lifestyle aspirations. The dearth of meaningful content in their own languages and lack of trustworthy sources of information on the internet are the two prime reasons for this. We actively engage with our KOLs through the ‘Trell Creators’ Academy’ program, where currently 25,000 creators are being educated every day to create valuable content, grow their reach, become influencers and eventually solve the scarcity of regional content. With more vernacular KOLs coming on Trell, we have become the most relatable community-commerce platform for our users,” Pulkit Agrawal, Co-Founder at Trell said.
“We are focused on building a meaningful supply of content by getting creators on board, grooming them and making them better storytellers. We believe that content creation will become a wide-spread profession as our internet population will scale to a Billion users and get even more hungry for consuming relevant content. This will unlock beautiful opportunities for millions of artists, writers, and storytellers to adopt this as an alternate career choice. For instance, there are a massive number of house-wives who are coming onto our platform from Tier 2 cities and have been sharing recipes in aspiration of becoming the next Tarla Dalal and Nisha Madhulika of India!” Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Co-Founder, Trell, said