Online marketplace ShopClues.com has integrated a wholesale marketplace to its platform to enable buyers to purchase bulk quantities of products at wholesale prices. So, instead of just listing their merchandise on an online directory, wholesale merchants will get a chance to take their business online and get their own branded online storefront and buy-now facility.
"The ShopCluesWholeSaleMarketplace is a novel concept for Indian e-commerce, but we see it as our next logical step. We expect to get maximum response for products and brands that have strong appeal in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, so that small merchants can buy products from Shopclues and sell them in their local markets," says Sanjay Sethi, co-founder and CEO, ShopClues.com.
Although online wholesale marketplace is a relatively new concept in India, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, is planning something similar when it debuts its e-commerce marketplace in India. As per a report, Wal-Mart will initially cater to 'wholesale consumers', which would be an extension of its existing B2B physical retail chain.
ShopClues was founded in 2011 as a managed marketplace e-tailer. It is backed by high-profile venture capital investors. Last March, it raised a Series B round of $10 million from Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Netprice.com, a Japanese business group based in Tokyo. Earlier, Nexus Venture Partners led a $4 million Series A round for ShopClues that also saw the participation of an unnamed Asia-based VC investor.
Last July, its co-founder Sandeep Aggarwal was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on insider trading charges for allegedly tipping off a hedge fund manager while working as an analyst at Collins Stewart in the US. In November, he pleaded guilty to the charges and was consequently banned by the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) from trading in the US.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)