Excl: Hybrid E-com Startup Edabba Raises $1M; Can It Take On Vertical E-tailers & OTAs?

Excl: Hybrid E-com Startup Edabba Raises $1M; Can It Take On Vertical E-tailers & OTAs?

New Delhi-based startup Omnipresent Retail Pvt Ltd owned e-tailing site edabba.com has raised first round of funding of $1 million from a consortium of investors. The investors include Satyendra Shukla (CEO & Founder of Four-S Services Pvt Ltd) and Amit Patel (who is also part of a jewellery company) among others, Manoj Kumar, co-founder & CEO of  edabba told Techcircle.in.

The funds raised in the current round will be used for bankrolling the expansion plans and marketing of the model, Kumar said.

Launched last October, the e-commerce portal aims to bring e-tailing to the untapped market of B and C class cities with the help of a hybrid model of 'brick & click'. It has tied up with various offline retailers across the segments that it offers on the website and is using their infrastructure and reach to sell products and services.

The customer can go to the kiosk and the attendant there will help them to look for the product they want and place order on their behalf. The customer then pays to the attendant and the product is shipped to either the buyer's address or to that particular shop, as the customer wants. This is in addition to the usual online direct order model which is also available for the customers.

The website currently offers books, electronics, movies and games DVDs, organic food and also air ticketing. This does make it an interesting e-tailer who is attacking not just categories offered by horizontal e-com firms but also vertical e-tailers  and niche e-com firms such as focused OTAs like MakeMyTrip, Yatra and Cleartrip.

"We are not competing in any of the local players in any of the categories. For example, in ticketing, if a local travel agent puts up our kiosk, he can sell all other goods listed on our website along with his usual tickets. We work on a commission-based model with these retailers," said Kumar.

Currently present in four states - Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Bihar and Goa, the firm plans to enter 10 other states soon. "We are looking to enter Punjab very soon and penetrate western India and Southern India after that," he added.

The company is looking to enter jewellery line soon and add up watches and other categories thereafter, which again takes its competition to further vertical e-tailers.

Talking about the traction it has generated so far, Kumar said, "We are growing around 45 per cent month-on-month and the average order size is about Rs 4,500. We have around 40,000 SKUs listed on our website part of which is inventory owned by us and part of it virtual. The site's business is being driven by mobile phones and TVs," he stated.

The firm was co-founded by Kumar and Saurabh B Chadha who bring with them over seven decades combined Indian retail experience, working as CXOs and senior operations executives in Future Group, RPG Retail and Godrej Aadhar.

Attacking the smaller cities with a hybrid model is an interesting move. Many local services providers already offer travel booking in an offline-online mode and this is a large market to be tapped. But, whether this will taste the same success at e-tailing of consumer products is something to watch out for. Given that electronics is the main driver for the e-tailer for now ( which explains high average sale value at present), it may yet record reasonable revenue in a short period of time, though the firm would need to keep a close track of keeping costs low to make profits sooner.


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