Glowroad, the Indian startup of the day, tested out several ways to help people earn online, but it looks like it finally bets on agent sales.
Manufacturers and large-scale wholesale sellers upload their product descriptions and prices into the database. Bored housewives browse the catalogue, pick the positions they like, put together the assortment of their own online store, and set up a surcharge. Glowroad automatically creates an individual store, and users distribute links to it through their social media and messengers. Friends buy, the original seller ships the goods, Glowroad pays out the agent’s fee..
Looking from a place like Russia, the scheme doesn’t look too pleasant. The agent doesn’t do anything material, merely hustles their contacts for less than optimal purchases and earns off of them – it doesn’t look like friends would understand such an attitude. But – it seems like India has different traditions, one often hears about their established hand selling culture. On the other hand, the model can be adopted on our shores, too. All it takes is to raise the original price by the agent’s fee and not to let the agent set up a surcharge themselves – the mathematics remain the same, and nobody feels bad.
Glowroad is still very small, all they can boast about is 1000 purchases per day. The startup earns from the manufacturer’s subscription, the fee is 10 dollars per month, the idea of a turnover commission is also on the nose. The first big round of investment, USD 2M, took place in September.
Here’s our rerun from 2017. In four years, the project grew and brought in USD 30M of investment, but the competitive struggle with Meesho, a similar service, is apparently lost. Next to it, Glowroad simply doesn’t exist.
Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov
Alexander made his career in Russian internet companies including Mail.Ru, Rambler, RBC. From 2016 to 2018 he was Chief Strategy and Analytics officer in Mail.Ru Group. In this position, he worked on M&A, investments, and new project launches. In 2018 he became Deputy CEO in Citymobil, a Russian Uber-like company that was invested by Mail.Ru Group and Sberbank (the biggest Russian bank), then he left the company to launch his own projects. Now Alexander is a co-founder of United Investors – the platform for co-investments in Russian early-stage startups. His blog #startupoftheday (#стартапдня) is one of the most popular blogs about startups in Russia.