Glowroad in 4 Years by Alexander Gornyi


The post was originally published in Russian on Startup of the Day. Alexander kindly agreed to republish what we think is of great value to our readers.

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


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