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Exclusive: Elevation-backed WMall pivots from social commerce to e-commerce enablement


Another startup in the social commerce space witnesses roadblocks, unable to charge forward. Elevation Capital and Chiratae Ventures-backed WMall has moved away from its core social commerce offering in the absence of being able to settle on a viable business model, said three people aware of the development.

“WMall had started downscaling social commerce business from December last year and wound it up completely by March-April,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. 

The WMall website and mobile application are also out of order, underscoring this development. 

For context, WMall was a women-centric social commerce platform focused on fashion, home decor, beauty and baby verticals, among others. According to sources, WMall abandoned the social commerce model because the company’s board didn’t see merit in pursuing it.

“Almost every social commerce company either consolidated, pivoted or shut down operations as attracting large investments seem tough,” said the second source who also wished not to be named. 

“Look at BulBul, SimSim, Shop101 GlowRoad and a few others, they all opted for M&A whereas some in the social commerce space had to shut shop. At some point of time, they all realised that there is no merit in building an independent play against deep-pocketed Meesho and Flipkart.” 

InMobi’s Glance acquired Unilever-backed Shop101 in June last year while YouTube took over Simsim around the same time. Recently, Good Glamm Group had acquired BulBul and GowRoad went to Amazon.

Last week, Indiabulls’ social commerce platform Yaari laid off most of its employees and is reportedly on the verge of a merger with Dhani Services. In the past, Wooplr, another player in the segment, shut down its operations after its merger talks fell through.

Sources further said that the company’s board has mandated a pivot early this year and the co-founders Harmin Shah, Anubhav Singh and Rishabh Verma have been building – NuShop – an e-commerce enablement platform for direct to (D2C) brands. 

According to its website, NuShop is a full stack B2B platform which enables brands to set up their direct to consumer platform along with services including inventory management, marketing and shipping.

It’s worth mentioning that NuShop is operating through the same entity (Blitzscale Tech) which used to run WMall. Before the pivot, WMall raised around $11 million since its inception in 2018.

Queries sent to Shah and WMall backers Elevation and Chiratae early this week didn’t elicit any response. We will update the story in case we hear from them.

WMall had registered 33.4% growth in its operating revenue to Rs 4.35 crore in FY21 from Rs 3.26  crore in FY20 as per the annual financial statements filed with RoC. While the firm’s annual losses surged nearly 54% to Rs 15.13 crore for the financial year ending March 2021 from Rs 9.83 crore in FY20.

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