Six months after raising its first round of venture capital funding, online fashion flash sales site Exclusively.in has received a relatively bigger Series B funding of $16 million led by New York based Tiger Global Management LLC and participated by existing investors Accel Partners and Helion Ventures. Exclusively.in had raised $2.8 million from Accel and Helion in November 2010. The funding will be used to bankroll its international expansion plans. The deal was concluded last week.
Founded in June 2010, Exclusively.in offers a variety of products including jewelry, handbags, crafts, paintings and wedding attire. It is primarily targeted at NRIs and has been catering solely to the USA market so far but now has plans to roll out to various new markets this year. The site will reach the milestone of one million active, registered members in the next few months, according to the company.
Lee Fixel from Tiger Global, Prashant Prakash from Accel Partners and Ashish Gupta from Helion Ventures will join the board of Exclusively.in.
"We are excited to have Tiger Global on board. They have invested in many Indian firms and we look forward to their expert advice," said Sunjay Guleria, founder and CEO, Exclusively.in, speaking to Techcircle.in. Tiger Global has invested in India's largest online travel agency Makemytrip.com, e-tailer Myntra.com, Babyoye.com and consumer electronics shop Letsbuy.com.
"Exclusively.In has demonstrated many of the same traits of our other fast-growth investments: a solid management team, an open-market opportunity, and an impressive growth curve," said Tiger Global's Lee Fixel, in a media release. "The company is well positioned to bring Indian fashion to the masses, and we're excited to help them realize that vision."
Exclusively.in announced its official launch into the UK market which is a large consumer market for Indian fashion. By the end of December 2011, Exclusively.in will reach 15 markets including India, Guleria told Techcircle.in.
"Having a global footprint is necessary and now we will be able to service Indians across the globe. We will reach out to consumers in Canada and South Africa next and will target the large diaspora in Australia and Singapore too," he said. The company has been growing at a monthly rate of 30-50 per cent.
The company is also beefing up its top management. Guleria said that critical hires is on the top of his list as the company gains momentum.
Guleria did not reveal the investment in the company nor its burn rate.
Brands & The Website
Exclusively.in currently works with 250 brands every month to offer a sale that last short periods and are hence called 'flash' sales. Brands such as Satya Paul, Ritu Kumar as well as emerging designers are popular on the website. Guleria will not add more brands to Exclusively.in. He will increase volumes with existing vendors and delve deeper into categories rather than add new brands.
The average transaction amount on Exclusively.in is currently $250 (Rs 10,000). Guleria did not share the exact number of transactions conducted on the website on a daily basis, only saying that it does "hundreds".
The website will be tweaked with new features and content. "We will continue to invest in our technology platform - there will be tighter Facebook integration, social and sharing features. We will also be adding more lifestyle and fashion content soon," he said.
On the roadmap for the website, Guleria said, "We will focus on expanding our wedding section. We launched the wedding boutique for NRIs who have to travel to India for their weddings, enabling them to easily purchase their wedding attires. Now you will see further evolution in that vertical. We have an auction capability and will also introduce signed memorabilia and collector's items. We will add more merchandise going forth."
"We are competing with traditional outlets, rather than online shops. We are still trying to change consumer behaviour and convincing them to buy online. We have been successful in the USA and now hope to replicate it in other markets," said Guleria.
The company has no consolidation or acquisition plans for now, though the number of e-commerce players has swelled. He believes they can co-exist in harmony as demand is rising. "There are a number of players, but luckily with apparel, it is quite subjective. There are many suppliers so multiple players can exist. As long as companies have their own niche, they can succeed," he said.
Other members-only, flash sales sites in India include 99Labels.com, ThePrivateSales.com, Bagittoday by the India Today group, Fashionandyou.com by Smile Group, and Brandmile.com by Mumbai-based Kenthill Marketing Pvt Ltd. Recently, Bangalore-based TPS Shopping Outlet Pvt Ltd, which runs website ThePrivateSales.com, raised $5 million from a private Indian company.