Adds 90,000 verified businesses and 1.2m users in India; targets to connect 200,000 more local businesses in next two years by integrating two of the most organic behaviours globally – search & chat
Hyderabad and Bengaluru, 19th July 2016: NowFloats, a Hyderabad-based technology company that helps businesses go online and be discoverable using frictionless technology, has announced that it is acquiring Bengaluru-based hyper-local conversational commerce app Lookup for cash and stock. Founded in November 2015 by serial entrepreneur Deepak Ravindran, Lookup’s investors and advisors include Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Vinod Khosla, Narayana Murthy, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Oliver Samwer (GFC), Teruhido Sato (Beenos) and DeNA Japan. With this acquisition, Lookup’s technology team, product and vision become a part of the NowFloats product ecosystem to provide messaging solutions to small and medium business enterprises.
NowFloats auto-prompts businesses on the local content searches made by their consumers with the help of its Relationship Intelligence Agent (RIA) technology, which is based on machine-learning and big-data built on a mashup of website content, Google trends, product catalogs, searches & consumer behaviour. The acquisition will help NowFloats add over 90,000 verified businesses to its existing 250,000 online businesses in India. In addition, NowFloats will also get access to over 1.2 million Lookup registered users, especially in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. The NowFloats platform already has over 250,000 businesses online – or about a third of all the small business sites in India – transacting with over 6 million consumers a month. The NowFloats platform already has over 250,000 businesses online – or about a third of all the small business sites in India – transacting with over 6 million consumers a month. NowFloats powers more than 5% of all local searches in India today and counts Sleepwell, Bayer, TVS Group, IndusInd Bank, Wicked Ride, Canada’s SiberName, and Kenya’s Datum Digital among its larger partners and customers globally.
The combined technology of NowFloats and Lookup will result in a platform that taps into two of the most organic behaviors globally – search & chat – to deliver simplicity to enabling business.
Commenting on this acquisition, Ronak Kumar Samantray, Co-Founder, NowFloats, who was listed among the 2016 Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30, says, “We wanted to invest in a conversational interface as we always believed that for certain categories (where the user needs more information before making the purchase decision) having a simple way to interact with the merchant is very important. We are going to take Lookup forward as a consumer brand to provide the simplest and fastest way for a user to buy anything from the offline world. I am very excited to have the Lookup team on-board. We aim to build Lookup further as a direct consumer channel to simplify discovery of offline businesses beyond the existing search engines and social networks”.
Lookup Founder Mr. Deepak Ravindran will now join as the Head of Conversational Commerce at NowFloats. Deepak has been recognized as one of the outstanding innovators under 35 by the MIT Technology Review and as one of Asia’s 21 emerging leaders under 40 by Asia Society. He says, “At Lookup, we have thrived to build close relationships with other players in the same space who are trying to solve the local search, discovery and enabling. NowFloats is one of the first movers in the space who has been constantly innovating and consistently growing for many years. We saw that there was a lot of alignment and enthusiasm for NowFloats and ultimately decided it was the best way forward.”
Jasminder Singh Gulati, Co-Founder and CEO, NowFloats adds, “This acquisition is a perfect match of great Indian talent that has made its mark on the global tech arena. At NowFloats, we keep building the future and we believe this should be a game changer for our existing & new customers as well as their consumers. We are excited that the Lookup team is already aligned and focused on our shared vision, and this powerful combination will accelerate our learnings & new possibilities”.
With an aim to uncover ‘Inside the Internet of India” and get a pulse of the evolving consumer and business behaviors, NowFloats frequently conducts Digital Desh Drive research sprints driving miles and miles and meeting people across India. In the three researches conducted over the past year, its findings have unanimously revealed that chat is one of the most pervasive behaviors followed by search and apps, which reinforced NowFloats decision to acquire Lookup. The Rain Maker Group was the sole strategic advisor to NowFloats for the Lookup acquisition.
NowFloats is part of 10 Hyderabad startups to watch out for in 2016