Rocket Internet-backed FabFurnish.com, which recently pivoted into a full-fledged marketplace for home products, has appointed Nimit Kumar as chief technology officer (CTO).
Kumar will lead the technology practice at FabFurnish, run by Alix Retail Pvt Ltd, and expand its services and product portfolio to support industry trends, the company said in a statement.
“FabFurnish is a high-growth company… (it) is taking a fresh approach beyond the typical discounting models common in the industry and building tech-enabled products and services that will allow a large offline market to transition to the online world,” Kumar said.
An IIT Kanpur graduate, Kumar was previously the founder and CEO of uniRow Inc, an enterprise software company focused on sales training. Prior to that, he had founded education-technology firm Samuday Web Technologies, which specialised in online training platforms. Kumar has also worked with Gridstone Research, Fair Isaac and IBM India Research Laboratory in various roles.
In September, FabFurnish said it is moving from an inventory-cum-marketplace model to a full-fledged marketplace model for furniture and home décor products. The company also stopped pushing its private labels such as Fab Home, KingSelect and others.
This re-positioning was needed as the startup was losing out to competitors such as Urban Ladder, Pepperfry, Livspace. On August 5, The Economic Times reported that FabFurnish was downsizing workforce and selling its warehouses.
In July, FabFurnish had restructured its upper deck as part of a move in which ‘co-founders’ Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal stepped down from daily responsibilities. Vaibhav Aggarwal was FabFurnish’s third ‘co-founder’. He quit the company early this year to launch branded budget hotel aggregator FabHotels (formerly Casa2Inns).
The core model of Rocket Internet, which has positions in Indian ventures such as Foodpanda India and Jabong, is to replicate successful global internet businesses in emerging markets outside China with rigorous marketing. The German internet company and startup incubator brings in industry executives, gives them stakes in its companies and designates them as co-founder/founder/CEO. Thus, Chopra and Agrawal were designated as co-founders even though FabFurnish may not have been their brainchild.
A recent report in The Economic Times claimed that Rocket Internet has put Jabong, Foodpanda and FabFurnish on the block. However, this could not be independently verified.
Most of Rocket Internet’s portfolio companies operate in multiple regions. A unit of Rocket Internet is planning to incubate one startup every quarter in Asia Pacific.