LoveLocal, an India hyper-local e-commerce platform empowering local retailers, announced Thursday it has raised $18 million in a Pre-Series B investment round led by Vulcan Capital.

The round, which was oversubscribed, also saw the participation from Klarna Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Siemiatkowski’s Flat Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, and Commerce Ventures.

Angel investors Nami Zarringhalam, Co-founder of Truecaller, Sriram Krishnan, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Anna Lambert, Director of Product Acceleration at Shopify, Sarah Jones Simmer, Chief Executive Officer of Found and ex-Chief Operating Officer of Bumble, Arpan Sheth, Senior Partner at Bain & Company, and others also participated in the round.

Existing investors Blume Ventures, AC Ventures, HenkelX Ventures, Chiratae Ventures & Candy Ventures also invested.

Launched in January 2020, LoveLocal is revolutionizing how India shops by empowering local retailers and digitalizing the $1.1 trillion unorganized retail market. LoveLocal has grown 40 times since inception and currently serves 35+ cities across India, in just 18 months.

“We have always believed in the local retailer. They win on every consumer consideration: service, quality, product selection, value, credit, and free delivery. Local businesses account for more than 40 percent of jobs in India. LoveLocal is bridging the technology gap to ensure that our local retailers not just survive but thrive in India 2.0,” said Akanksha Hazari, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LoveLocal.

Indian retail is powered by 60 million+ local businesses. They represent 95 percent of the $1.1 trillion retail market. Despite the launch of e-commerce and new big box retail options, this unorganized market has doubled in the past 5 years. As over a billion Indian consumers move online, these local shops must transform to serve this new digitally-driven shopper.

Founded by Akanksha Hazari, LoveLocal’s Pre-Series B marks the largest round ever raised by a solo woman tech founder in India. This represents a huge step forward in the Indian startup ecosystem and comes at a time when less than 1 percent of Indian venture capital deals are invested in women-only-led companies. Moreover, the country is grappling with a sharply declining female labor force participation rate, the lowest in South Asia.

In the next 3 years, LoveLocal aims to take 1 million local retailers online and power the largest hyperlocal e-commerce platform in India.

“The future of Indian retail is, and must be, local,” said Hazari.

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