New Delhi: Social media marketing company @ [pronounced ‘AT’] has raised $330,000 through a consortium of marquee angel investors. The consortium of investors includes Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO of shaadi.com, makaan.com and Mauj Mobile; Dharti Desai, Founder and CEO Finewinesandmore.com; and Hardik Zaveri, Founder and Director, 8finity Global. @ is an all-in-one social media solution for small, medium, and emerging companies, start-ups and corporates alike with end-to-end social media marketing solutions.
While Anupam Mittal and Dharti Desai are first time investors in @, existing investor Hardik Zaveri has also participated in this round of funding. This round of investment will enable the company to build further capabilities on the technology platform which is critical for providing a seamless experience to its customers as well as marketing efforts being planned by the company. @ has developed an in-house application for the platform which automates the scheduling of content and distribution once a client is onboarded.
Commenting on the investment, Armaand Poonawala, Founder & CEO @, said, “@ started off as a social media service for restaurants in New York two years ago. Today it has grown and transformed into a fully funded startup. We have broken down what it takes to create quality content and made it affordable so that every business no matter how small can find their place on social media. This round of investment has been a shot in the arm as it has not only helped us in building capabilities but completely rebrand ourselves to suit a global audience. With a client base of about 50 clients in just two years, the bulk of our business now comes from India. And true to the digital medium we want to go beyond the realm of geographical boundaries.”
Commenting on the investment, Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO of shaadi.com, makaan.com and Mauj Mobile said, “Social Media is turning the media landscape on its head and to see a company led by a very passionate team helping brands navigate these waters is very exciting. With a focus on Intellectual property and scalability, I believe there is an opportunity to build a very large company and that led me to invest.”
Dharti Desai, Founder and CEO Finewinesandmore.com added further, “I decided to invest in @/Armand for two reasons: Armand and his ability to execute. I was fortunate to see Armand’s growth from his NYU days until he founded @. His timing is fantastic for the space he has made a niche for @ in. I look forward to a great journey with @ and team as they scale rapidly.”
Hardik Zaveri, Founder and Director, 8finity Global said, “We at 8finity.global believe in investing in people and not just companies. This is exactly what we did at @. We invested in Armand, his vision for the company and his ability to quickly learn from other people’s mistakes and grow.”
Founder and CEO, Armand Poonawala, envisioned the founding of @ by identifying the scarcity of creative, reliable and high-quality digital marketing solutions providers in the USA. As an undergraduate student at NYU [New York University], Armand identified a gap in the market for nearly 97% of USA businesses that needed social media marketing. This need-gap analysis was done especially for small, micro and emerging enterprises who lacked the budgets to hire expensive marketing and branding consultants and had instead burned their hands working with inexperienced free lancers and interns. With the realization that if he could build a trustworthy platform that would connect businesses with verified and ratified providers, these businesses could meet their requirements at the click of a button, with no hassle and at a fraction of the cost. At the same time, they would have the extreme flexibility of going through portfolios and cherry picking the creative providers they would like to work with.
The platform’s built-in scheduler allows the business to plan, manage and deliver each aspect of the project’s production, thus keeping tight control on creative quality, budgets and scheduling. In a typical monthly servicing module, @ looks at areas like content strategy, photography, graphic design, online surveillance, influencer marketing, advertisement management and analytics. Some of their Indian clientele includes ‘Shaadi.com’, ‘Organic Riot’, ‘Fresh Ones Tissues’ and‘Cast You In’ to name a few. The US client list includes names like ‘Dill and Parsely’, ‘The Model Book’ and ‘Monarch’.