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Exclusive: Surge and Nexus set to invest $6 Mn in OneCode at over $20 Mn valuation

New-age affiliate and social commerce platform OneCode is in late-stage talks to raise its maiden institutional funding round from Nexus Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital’s Surge Ventures, said two people aware of the details of the transaction.

“Nexus and Surge are in the last leg to put in $6-7 million in OneCode,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “The contours of the transaction are finalised and the term sheet has been served. If nothing goes wrong from here, the deal will be closed in a couple of weeks.”

OneCode connects e-commerce companies with re-sellers (like you and I) to sell their products and services to trust deficit and less tech-savvy users. It claims to handhold first-time buyers who require in-person interactions, push, and motivation before executing a transaction.

Sellers would earn a commission when they facilitate transactions through the platform. Importantly, the buyer would also get a discount. Simply put, OneCode is an affiliate platform with a layer of social commerce.

The Manish Shara-led startup has tied up with various brands including Kotak Bank, IndusInd Bank, Upstox, Testbook, Gradeup, Digit, Digital Showroom, PetPooja, 1mg, DineOut and Dr Vaidya’s, among others.

“A few notable angels are also slated to participate in the round which will value OneCode in the range of $20-25 million,” said another person who also wished not to be named as talks are yet to be public.

Queries sent to OneCode, Nexus, Sequoia didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the story as and when they respond.

WaterBridge Ventures and a clutch of angels including Miten Sampat, Aakrit Vaish and Rocky and Siddharth Mohan had put in seed money in the Gurugram-based venture in August 2020.

Initially, OneCode also used to evangelise multi-level marketing approaches but it doesn’t follow that model anymore. At present, the company doesn’t have any direct competition. However, the likes of Meesho and other social commerce companies could be potential competitors in the long haul.

According to a six-month-old report by Bain & Company in partnership with Sequoia India, social commerce in India has the potential to grow to $16 to $20 billion in Gross Merchandise Value or GMV by 2025. The report further added that the market size in the country may touch $60 to $70 billion in GMV by 2030.

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