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Eight-month-old lifestyle e-tailer Pepperfry aims to hit Rs 100Cr gross merchandise value this fiscal

Launched in January this year, Pepperfry.com, an online lifestyle store run by Mumbai-based Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt Ltd, aims to cross Rs 100 crore in gross merchandise value by the end of 2012.

Speaking to Techcircle.in, Pepperfry co-founder said, "In the last 6-7 months, we have been growing phenomenally. Business in August will be 20 times more than what it had been in January."

At the time of its launch, the portal boasted 25,000 SKUs across various categories like furniture, home décor, apparel & accessories, perfumes & cosmetics and jewellery, with a mix of mass-end and premium brands. Right now, it has 28,000 SKUs with a unique listing of 45,000 products.

Within this span of eight months, the company has introduced various other categories like health (in March), baby care (in July) and leisure (in August). More categories are in the pipeline, such as pet care and musical instruments. "Lifestyle is much beyond clothes. We will try and ensure more depth for the home category," said Murty.

Pepperfry has three logistics and fulfilment hubs located in Jodhpur, Gurgaon and Mumbai, and the company aims to open three more – one in Madurai, another in Uttar Pradesh and the third one in Kolkata or Bhubaneswar to ensure that sellers across various regions can sell their products easily on Pepperfry's platform. The company has a team of 140 and delivers to 700 cities in India.

As of now, the e-tailer gets more than 1,000 orders a day, with an average ticket size of Rs 2,000-Rs 5,000 for furniture.

Detailing the idea behind getting deeper into the lifestyle category, Murty said, "Pepperfry is keen to serve every life stage and this starts right from looking good. In order to fulfil our vision, we offer fashion items (so that you look good) and also sell home décor products to deck up your household. Similarly, one would require baby care items when one has a family and also fine jewellery when one rises in life. Thus, through an entire selection of products, we aim to provide meaningful items that will come in handy throughout various life stages. And that promises a long-lasting relationship with our consumers."

Currently shipping 2,000 items a day, Pepperfry claims to have crossed Rs 4 crore worth of business this month. With a registered user base of 250,000, it also claims to have a strong focus on women and says that more than 60 per cent of its customers are females.

Last December, the online venture has raised $5 million in VC funding from Norwest Venture Partners. However, Murty refused to comment on future fundraising and said, "Right now, we do not require extra capital to scale up our business. As we also have a marketplace model, we are capital-efficient.

"The amount of fundraising will depend upon the 'then' valuation and the quantum of money required for growth," he added.

Murty also revealed that 50 per cent of the e-tailer's business comes from home and health segments, of which 15 per cent is driven by furniture sales. Interestingly, Pepperfry is one of early players to have initiated this category, which is believed a difficult one to crack, given the logistics issues. Currently working with small craftsmen, especially the SMEs of Rajasthan, for furniture, Pepperfry claims to be witnessing enquiries for larger businesses from Mumbai.

"The more variety one gets to see on our portal, the better the chances that he/she will become a regular buyer. Hence, category expansion will always be our focus. Other than that, we will focus on building better infrastructure, continue building the customer base and marketing," said Murty.

Talking about the marketing plans, he said, "Once we cross Rs 100 crore mark, we will start investing in above-the-line activities like TV, print and radio promotion. And we will continue to invest online."

By the end of 2012, Pepperfry wants to acquire 600,000 customers and a variety of products adding up to 100,000.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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