Featured Startup Pitch: With Cashkaro, UK-based Pouring Pounds seeks to tap into the Indian ecommerce market by offering consumers cashback on retail purchases
Founders: Swati Bhargava and Rohan Bhargava
Year Founded: 2011
Company Description: Cashkaro.com enables users to get discounts at 150+ top India retailers via cashback and coupons.
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Cashkaro.com is one of India’s first cashback websites. We work with over 300 of India’s leading ecommerce players, like Yatra, Myntra, Jabong and Indiaplaza. The concept is simple—rather than visiting the ecommerce site directly, go through Cashkaro.com. The retailers now pay Cashkaro.com commission for this sale, which we pass to the user as cashback. Users can easily save 1000s of Rupees on their usual online purchases for travel, fashion, electronics, games, groceries and more. We even work with Groupon and Snapdeal, so users can get cashback on already discounted offers too!
We also have coupons from many of our ecommerce partners. What sets us apart from traditional coupon sites is that we give cashback in addition to coupons. Typically, coupon sites keep the commission paid by retailers, whereas we pass most of it to our users as ‘cashback.’
Cashkaro.com is the India arm of Pouring Pounds Ltd., which is a UK-based technology and marketing company specializing in cashback, coupons and loyalty programs.
Pouring Pounds was founded by my wife, Swati Bhargava, and me. We both graduated from the London School of Economics and subsequently spent several years in the financial services industry in London. Swati worked at Goldman Sachs and I worked in the hedge fund industry.
In 2011, when Groupon and similar websites were making a huge market impact, we felt there was a huge opportunity to help online shoppers get discounts on their regular online shopping also—on products like groceries, flights, electronics, gifts, etc. This idea led to the start of Pouring Pounds. We started to tie-up with leading retailers in travel, fashion, and electronics who would pay us for every sale, from which we would give users cashback. Today, in the UK we work with over 2,500 of the UK’s top brands, like Tesco, Marks & Spencer, and Debenhams. Just by visiting these retailers via Pouringpounds.com, users are able get cashback on their purchases. UK shoppers save over £1,000 every year with our cashback and coupon offers.
Given the massive growth of ecommerce in India we have expanded to India with Cashkaro.com.
We have two sides to our business—a B2B side and a B2C side.
On the B2B side, our model is to set up branded cashback and coupons for newspapers, corporates, and large transactional websites that are looking to offer another incentive to their customers. This strategy allows us to inorganically achieve a large market reach without incurring the massive customer acquisition costs. Our partners promote the white label website to their own audience, while we take care of all other aspects like technology, retailer relationships, customer support and hosting. In the UK, we run seven cashback websites, including the site for one of the UK’s largest newspapers, the Daily Mail (www.mailrewardscashback.co.uk).
This has been a proven model for us in the UK and we are looking to replicate this in India. We are in advanced conversations with newspapers, corporates, colleges and other large ecommerce websites. The feedback has been fantastic.
On the B2C side we run cashback and coupon sites like www.cashkaro.com. In order to grow our focus is on smart guerrilla marketing strategies and SEO.
There are few other countries that can match the breadth and scope of opportunity present in India. Ecommerce is growing at a phenomenal rate and our business is directly correlated with this growth. Cashback is still a very new concept in India and we are almost pioneering the market here. Our main competitors in India are incumbent coupon websites. However, we offer cashback on top of coupons so we are confident that the deal savvy Indian audience will enjoy these additional benefits.
How We Differentiate from the Competition
Unlike coupon sites, we pass most of the commission we get from retailers back to the user as cashback. This is a key USP for us and creates a superior value proposition compared to traditional coupon websites in India. In addition, our B2B model allows us to gain scale quickly and grow fast as we set up sites for other organizations as well.
We have two primary revenue sources. Firstly, we retain a small share of all commission we get from the retailers. In our B2B model, we share our revenues with our partner. Secondly, as the market matures, retailers will be willing to pay for preferential placement on our websites and newsletters. This is what we are seeing in the UK.
We are aggressively looking to grow our team in India. We are looking for senior developers and for hungry marketers to help grow our ecommerce relationships. At the same time, we are also looking for strategic investors who can help not only provide funding to support our growth but also open doors and create new partnerships in India.
Cashkaro – www.cashkaro.com