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Flash sales site 99labels.com launches 9rasa, a catalogue site with ethnic focus

Info Edge-funded flash sales site 99labels.com has recently launched a catalogue site called 9rasa.com. The new site currently features three categories – apparel, home and jewellery, and the product range includes both private label and non-branded items.

Revealing the strategy behind launching another e-commerce portal, Ishita Swarup, co-founder and CEO of 99labels, told Techcircle.in, "Ethnic wear and accessories are mostly non-branded and on 99labels, our focus was getting diluted because of this category. After the launch of 9rasa, we can again focus on big brands and discounts on 99labels."

The new site offers Indian wear, home décor accessories and jewellery for now, and the number of categories will go up to 9 in sync with the name, according to Swarup. The next category that is coming up in another week is organic food. "It is a mix of curation, selection and private label as of now, but the proportion of private label offerings will increase with time," she added. 9rasa went live on Oct 16 this year and is in beta mode. On the synergies between 99labels and 9rasa, Swarup said, "They will work as independent ventures and we are not looking at merging those. But we will be cross-promoting the products on the sites."

In September this year, Ninety Nine Labels Pvt Ltd, the company behind 99labels.com and 9rasa.comraised Rs 5 crore  from existing investor Info Edge. Launching the new site was one of the key objectives of the latest round of funding, Swarup told Techcircle.in.

Still, catalogue sites are all too many right now. Ask her whether it is the right time for one more in that space and she was quick to respond, "Yes, we know that there are far too many players in the market. But the focus needs to be there in the collection and that is our USP at 9rasa. We are looking to cater to a niche audience, but we are really focusing on the product selection and categories."

Backed by Lightspeed and Matrix, recently launched social commerce site LimeRoad is also catering to a similar market and one cannot miss the resemblance in the offerings and the target audience of 9rasa and LimeRoad. Swarup, however, disagreed and said that 9rasa would not focus on pure play western wear. It aims to focus on ethnic and fusion wear, and even in that, the product selection remains its key differentiator. "9rasa is India's first ethnic wear site and there is a lot more coming for our customers," added Swarup.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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