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Our investment in Plobal Apps

Why we’re backing the mobile growth engine for retailers across the world.

By Anant Vidur Puri 5.24.22

Entrepreneurship is a borderless endeavor, and as a firm that invests across the globe, we’re privy to how innovation cycles unfold across different geographies. For instance, e-commerce in the U.S. got started on the web because there were no smartphones at the time of the dotcom boom. However, in India, the majority of all e-shoppers made their first purchase on a mobile smart phone.

In North America, early examples of leveraging apps for commerce can be seen in Shein and Nike. With this in mind, it’s difficult to imagine a future of retail without mobile apps. Yet, more than 90% of all online stores do not have an app today. So, when we met the team at Plobal Apps, the no-code platform for brands to build stunning mobile e-commerce apps, we knew the Plobal team was going to democratize the building blocks for mobile purchasing, including support for the customer lifecycle.

As early investors in Indian e-commerce market leaders such as Pharmeasy, UrbanCompany, Swiggy, BigBasket, GoodGlammGroup, and many others, we’ve seen first hand how how a native app is more than just a shopping interface—it is a fully owned customer engagement channel where engagement could look like a purchase, feedback, service, content consumption, social interaction, or anything else the brand desires. With the rise of omni-channel-commerce, the mobile app begins to take even more importance. In store payment, contactless checkout, try in-store buy online, buy online pickup in store—all of these are just scratching the surface of what stores and brands can accomplish with a native mobile app.

In 2016, Atul Poharkar and his team were building apps for global e-commerce players when they realized that custom development was something that only a handful of retailers or brands could afford. The average e-commerce entrepreneur or store did not have the resources or the technical capability to invest millions of dollars in a mobile app and its numerous integrations.

“Plobal was born to empower every e-commerce entrepreneur and store across the world to have a native mobile app within hours if not minutes,” says Atul Poharkar, founder and CEO of Plobal Apps.

Today, Plobal builds the native mobile apps for Shopify storefronts and enables these apps to go live in 24-hours or less. Brands do not have to invest upfront in technology and only pay when the app yields transactions. And the results speak for themselves: app check-out conversion rates are approximately 2-4x higher on Plobal mobile apps versus the same store’s mobile web, whereas the open-rates on push notifications are about 2-5x higher compared to SMS or email campaigns sent by the same store. In addition, the app seamlessly ports over all existing integrations on the store and allows a range of additional functionalities like LiveStreaming, Deep Linking amongst many others. Today, Plobal counts some of the most recognizable Shopify brands such as Steve Madden, Goose Creek, Matt & Nat, Koovs, and Rare Rabbit as customers

As people and businesses increasingly work, connect, and shop in hybrid environments, accessible mobile app builder tools are a necessity for brands to establish their digital footprint. We’re excited to see how Atul and the Plobal team are building the infrastructure and tools for retail businesses to build more engaging and successful mobile brands. Plus, Plobal is one of the many examples we’re seeing in India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem where strong leadership and product innovation are having a global impact.