Four entrepreneurs of Indian origin including former editor of BBC Good Homes India have joined hands to form a home dÃ©cor and furnishings e-commerce firm Westwing Home & Living that is launching its site Heaven & Home on Monday. The firm has also raised funds from an undisclosed institutional investor.
Co-founded by Tushar Ahluwalia, Nishrit Shrivastva, Sunnyraj Agarwal and Tara Kaushal, Heaven & Home is positioned as a niche online interiors portal that showcases its products along with an online magazine dealing in the same segment.
Kaushal is the former editor of BBC Good Homes India while Shrivastva has previously worked with Dell and Pearson as a software developer. Ahluwalia is a third generation Indian settled in Germany with a post grad degree from London Business School. He has worked in investment banking area in Germany. Agrawal is also a London Business School alumnus, who has also worked with private equity firm Leopard Capital.
Talking to Techcircle about the sales model, Shrivastva said, "Consumers will have to become members of the shopping club to buy products and get exclusive offers on them and sales that go up to 70 per cent discount."
The sales pattern will be changed every seven days and members will be updated on various deals and offers through emails and SMSs. The firm will be associated with certain designer labels and will add international brands at some point in future.
It will target women aged between 25 and 50. In the first few weeks transaction will happen only in metros, but, in the subsequent three-four weeks the products will be made available to consumers in tier 2 and tier 3 cities as well.
Shrivastva said the firm has already raised some funds from a European investor that has also backed global giants like in GroupOn and Facebook. But he declined to share more details of the funds raised and the name of the investor.
Right now, the company will use cash-on-delivery mode of transaction, but within a week, other options like debit card, credit card and net banking will be available.
According to Agarwal, "Our focus is now on brand building. Revenue is just a by-product."
Though Heaven & Home will not face direct competition from too many existing niche sites, there are few other players in the segment including Home Ideas, besides others like Fashionandyou.com, 99 labels and other e-com sites that have sub sections for home dÃ©cor labels.