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Live ecommerce startup Peepul Tree, working with local artisans raises $6 million in seed round led by Elevar Equity

Originally appeared in Business Insider on January 11, 2023

Peepul Tree, a live-commerce platform connecting India’s artisans to global consumers, has raised $6 million in a seed funding led by Elevar Equity. Peepul Tree aims to enable the discovery of India’s cultural heritage with immersive shoppable stories and experiences.

The funds will be used to onboard content creators to showcase the heritage behind their products. The capital will also be utilised in digitising the artisan supply chain and building technology to bring together artisans, content creators and customers on a single platform, said Peepul Tree in a statement.

Backed by the fundraise, Peepul Tree additionally aims to support 1 lakh artisans and over 500 crafts and onboard 1,000 content creators on its platform by the end of 2023.

Peepul Tree was founded in 2022 by Anish Williams, Mini Menon and Priya Jayaraman.

“While there are many players addressing this market, the nuances of business models differ significantly and Peepul Tree is unique in its DNA that builds for the artisans. Anish, Priya and Mini bring in a great mix of experience, networks & ambition and are leveraging strong global trends that will help build momentum over the next 5-10 years,” Jyotsna Krishnan, managing partner, Elevar Equity said.

There are around 200 million people in India estimated to be dependent on local artforms and handicrafts for a living, through formal and informal channels, the company said.

Despite a large market and high margins, the current supply-chain construct does not equitably distribute margins back to the actual creator of the product – the artisan, the company said., adding that this could be attributed to the lack of resources and deal-making know-how, which makes it impossible for the actual product creators to compete and thrive within the global market.

Peepul Tree wants to tap into this massively underserved supply chain and enable the creation of a global brand presence for Indian artisans. This will be driven by the creator economy along with storytelling powered by Live History India – Peepul Tree’s content arm, it said.

“We are committed to providing access to a global marketplace and a credible platform to artisans that have been at the helm of safeguarding centuries-old traditions and sustainable processes whilst ensuring the consumers discover and take back a conscious retail experience of a lifetime,” said Williams, co-founder, Peepul Tree.