Indian Angel Network and Unitus Seed Fund Invest in GoCoop

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India’s first and Asia’s largest network of angel investors investing in start-ups and early stage ventures, and Unitus Seed Fund, India’s most active seed-stage impact investor, announced today an undisclosed investment in GoCoop Solutions and Services Pvt. Ltd., a Bangalore-based venture that provides a social marketplace for co-operatives and community-based enterprises to list and sell their produce online.

GoCoop offers a platform which includes a directory service, a microsite service with trade enquiries, and an ecommerce service with both branded e-stores and a marketplace. Additionally, GoCoop enables co-ops to collaborate by creating commerce networks to connect with suppliers, complementary coops and wholesale buyers.

“Globally, co-ops bring together over a billion people in sectors like Agriculture/Food and Crafts and play a key role in addressing the socio-economic needs of their members and the local communities” said

Siva Devireddy, Founder and CEO, GoCoop. “There is a strong need to address the issues faced by these cooperative organizations and enable them with better access to market and prices to improve their operations which impact the livelihood of millions of low-income members. We aim to do for co-ops what Alibaba did for manufacturers in China,” he added.

“India has over 6 lakh (600 thousand) co-ops with more than 24 crore (240 million) members. These co-ops are mostly rural entities with limited local reach and are often exploited by middlemen and traders offering low prices and unfair payment terms,” said Will Poole, Managing Partner of Unitus Seed Fund.

“We like GoCoop because its technology platform and marketing services provide co-ops in India and around the globe with access to national and international markets, fair and efficient business dealings, and the means to raise the standard of living of millions of low-income producers.”

Nagaraja Prakasam, IAN Angel Investor, who led this round and will be joining the board said “I’m also pleased to see the IAN Angels’ overwhelming response to impact investing such as these that’s striving to bring in Inclusive Growth. This encourages me to work on more impact deals in the future”

Customers and client testimonials

Co-op client: “GoCoop Social Market place will serve as a perfect platform to showcase our handicrafts and organic produce and leverage our potential in international markets”,

Mr. Tashi Wangdu, CEO, Federation of Tibetan Cooperatives in India (FTCI).

Customer: “I was amazed at how quickly the delivery of my selected items arrived. The fabrics are beautiful and I look forward to placing more orders through the site. Thank you very much.” Customer of

AP State Weavers Cooperative (APCO)

Customer: “I’ve shown the new cloths to everyone and they’ve all said the sewing has been done beautifully. Please make sure you tell the people who sewed them that, and also the people who folded, ironed and packed them. Really good job everyone at your end.” Buyer of Handloom Product from Australia.

About GoCoop

GoCoop is an organization dedicated to socio-economic development of cooperatives and community based organizations through technology innovation and intervention. GoCoop is identified as TOP 50 INNOVATORS as part of the Dept. of Science and Technology, Lockheed Martin India Innovation Program. They are based at Global Incubation Services (GINSERV) Bangalore. The GoCoop team consists of specialists from cooperative sector and management and technology consulting from leading organizations with an objective to serve the diverse sectors of cooperatives to help them leverage their full potential in a globalized and competitive business environment.

About Unitus Seed Fund

Unitus Seed Fund (USF) is India’s most active seed-stage impact investor, funding BoP startups that serve large low-income populations. USF plans to invest in 30-40 startups in sectors including skill development / livelihoods, agriculture, technology for development, healthcare, education, and access to basic necessities. USF is part of the Unitus Group, a successful financial services group operating in multiple emerging markets since 2000. USF has offices in Bangalore and Seattle.

About Indian Angel Network

Indian Angel Network has over 250 members and has funded close to 60 start-ups across multiple sectors including IT, Mobile, Healthcare and Education, Gaming, Hospitality, and Semiconductors across India and overseas and has made several successful exits. In 2011 alone, IAN invested over US$ 8 million in 11 startups making it almost a deal a month. In 2012, IAN invested in 17 companies totaling US$11 million, making it almost a deal every 3 weeks. In addition, IAN has incubated another 40+ ventures many of which have either become revenue earning or raised seed funding within 6 to 9 months of incubation.

 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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