Zarget, an Indian startup that helps business customers get more out of their online marketing spending and website traffic, has raised $6 million in funding, the company said in a press release on Thursday. The investment is led by marquee Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, and existing investors Matrix Partners, which backs startups from seed to growth stage. Accel Partners has also invested in the round. Zarget will use the money to develop its technology further and add customers.
The investment reflects investors’ preference for startups solving important problems for business customers—versus consumer-oriented products, which are yet to mature in India’s nascent startup scene. Chennai’s Freshdesk, which makes internet-based customer management software, recently raised an additional $55 million—also from investors, including Sequoia and Accel.
“Zarget has an exceptionally talented team of product engineers who’ve spent the past 10 years developing customer relationship management business automation software that’s already in use by leading enterprises today,” Shailesh Lakhani, managing director at Sequoia India, said in the press release. “We’re excited to back a team with such proven capabilities and believe their marketing platform will become an essential fixture within the SMB marketplace for many years to come.”
Venture investment in India rebounded in the three months ended September 30, 2016, versus the previous quarter, but “investment dollars are still more than 75 percent below the peak experienced in the third quarter of the calendar year 2015,” research firm CB Insights and consultancy KPMG said in their latest report on global VC investment trends, released in October. “Investors have focussed on companies with clear business models and greater profitability potential,” CB Insights and KPMG say in the report.
“Today, marketers are swamped with several fragmented optimization solutions with poor integration capabilities,” Tarun Davda, managing director at Matrix India, said in the release. Zarget’s platform “provides small-and-medium businesses a comprehensive and affordable way to scale conversions with a superior customer experience… we’ve been very impressed by the traction they’ve gathered so far.”
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