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Koolkart's co-founder quits, triggering rumours about possible shutdown

Chennai-based lifestyle e-tailer Koolkart.com's co-founder Anupam Agarwal has quit the e-commerce startup to take up a full-time job with Walmart's innovation labs in Bangalore as a product manager. Going by Agarwal's LinkedIn profile, he has been working at Walmart since close to a year, looking after Koolkart alongside. It seems he has quit Koolkart fully now, triggering rumours about the site's possible shutdown. However, talking to techcircle, Suneil Chawla, the other founder, said the startup is only going through a round of restructuring.

The report of Koolkart shutting down first appeared on NextBigWhat. The startup seems to look at revamping and hiring a senior management team since the co-founder has quit. "Anupam quit due to his personal reasons and we are in a phase where we have to work a lot of things out. That said, we are not shutting down. Our portal has two parts—the marketplace and the aggregator. While the marketplace part is on hold, the aggregation model is working properly. We will come back soon after working out our options," Chawla said. When pointed out that it is difficult to navigate the aggregation section of the site, Chawla said as the site is going through a revamp, certain features may not be working properly.

Founded in January 2012 by Agarwal and Chawla, Koolkart was one of the 11 startups that made a pitch to Harvard Alumni Angels India (also known as Harvard Angels) last year. Harvard Angels is an India-centric angel investing organisation founded by Harvard alumni Raj Chinai, Ravi Gururaj and Ramesh Shah.

"Is funding an obstacle for an e-commerce startup as investments have come down in the last few months?" No, said Chawla. "Early stage investments are still very active and we are in talks with a couple of investors," he said.

"Would you scrap the marketplace feature altogether and sustain only the aggregator model?" Chawla again negated saying that the firm's long-term vision is to be an e-commerce company but it is evaluating its options.

We would like to go by what Chawla is saying. But recent events proved otherwise. Rohit Sharma, founder of online kids toy store WopShop, which closed shop recently, also denied shutdown plans, saying the firm is only facing some technical problems. But WopShop eventually shut down. Seventymm, another online shopping company, also talked about acquisitions and investments before downing the shutters a few months later. The e-commerce market seems to be very fragile and sustaining an online business needs more than just capital.

Keep tracking this space for more updates.

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