MebelKart acquires crowd bargaining platform 53central
Online furniture and home dÃ©cor marketplace MebelKart.com has acquired 53central, a crowd bargaining platform that enables group buying options for sports enthusiasts, for an undisclosed amount.
"Group buying is expected to become phenomenally large in case of the furniture and interior design industries. This acquisition will enable us to further strengthen our position in these sectors," said Rahul Agrawal, co-founder and CEO of Mebelkart, in a statement.
Josy Mathew, who launched 53central this year, will join MebelKart as the head of business development and lead its new business line of bulk selling. MebelKart is run by Bangalore-based Mebelkart Technologies Pvt Ltd.
Mebelkart and 53central didn't immediately respond to emails seeking details of the transaction.
The deal comes after local search platform AskMe.com, owned by Getit Infomedia Pvt Ltd, acquired a 75 per cent stake in MebelKart in August. AskMe had reportedly paid $20 million for the deal.
Agrawal, an IIT-Kanpur alumnus, said the company will be looking at more such acquisitions and acqui-hires to expand its reach to global markets.
Agrawal had worked with Ola Cabs, Picsean Media and Young Engineers before launching the firm in 2012 along with BITS Pilani graduate Nikhil Saraf and IIT-Bombay alumnus Ranjeet Vimal.
Vimal had earlier launched DreamStarts.in, a job search engine for Indian startups, and search engine optimisation consulting service GeekOnNet.com. Saraf had earlier worked with Picsean Media and Travelocity.
MebelKart claims to have more than 1,000 sellers on its platform, selling over 100,000 furniture products across the country.
The online furniture segment has seen several funding deals in the past year. HomeLane.com, FabFurnish and Urban Ladder are the major players in the space.
In March, Bangalore-based Kieraya Furnishing Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates Furlenco, an online venture to rent furniture for residential use, raised $6 million (Rs 38 crore) in a Series A round of funding from LightBox Ventures.
In February, Bangalore-based Homevista Decor and Furnishing Pvt Ltd, which owns HomeLane.com, mobilised Rs 28.3 crore ($4.5 million) in its Series A round of funding led by Sequoia Capital.
Last year, Bangalore-based Urban Ladder Home Decor Solutions Pvt Ltd had secured Rs 120 crore from Steadview Capital and existing investors including SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital.