Big Shoe Bazaar India Pvt Ltd., the brand owner of Yebhi.com, announced that it has raised INR 100 Cr. in Series C round of funding led by Fidelity Growth Partners India and Qualcomm Incorporated. Previously, in 2010, the company raised INR 10 Cr. ($2 Mn.) of Series A funding by Nexus Venture Partners followed by a second round of funding of INR 40 Cr. ($8 Mn.) in 2011 led by Catamaran Ventures. These existing investors also participated in the Series C funding.
Yebhi has been a leading online wholesale cash and carry company in India and has been at the forefront of the eCommerce revolution. With a strong capital backing, Yebhi has been able to market effectively and has been able to capture a significant amount of mindshare. A recent Edelweiss report projected the e-tail market in India to be worth USD 12 billion dollars by 2016 and our interview with Manmohan Agarwal, CEO of Big Shoe Bazaar revealed how they’re currently handling operations for this herculean task. Commenting on the investment, he said, “Yebhi.com has pioneered mass market ecommerce in India and has taken significant first mover advantage in this large segment. Big Shoe Bazaar’s state of the art fulfilment centre, efficiencies in our supply chain and our logistics network are key to supporting Yebhi.com’s customer connect. Our Series C round of investments will further strengthen these core initiatives.”
The mobile base in India is also on an exponential growth curve with more than 50% penetration. This number can be safely put at 700 million subscribers with a rapidly growing share of smartphones and tablets. Excited about this space, Karthee Madasamy, Senior Director, Qualcomm Ventures, India and Israel said, “The number of Internet users via mobile has already surpassed Internet users via PC, creating a growing opportunity to reach mobile connected consumers with unique shopping experiences. And in these times when mobile is at the focal point, our investment in Big Shoe Bazaar stands to greatly influence the way people engage in online shopping. We are delighted to co-lead this financing round.”
Qualcomm Ventures is the venture investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated. Fidelity Growth Partners India is the other leading investor in the series C round and commenting on it, Rahul Rai, MD, FGPI, said, “Big Shoe Bazaar is best positioned and equipped to support the needs of mass market ecommerce sites like Yebhi.com. Global leaders in the mass market segment were able to take up value-based positions based on very strong back end capabilities. We believe Big Shoe Bazaar’s strengths are unparalleled in the backend.”
eCommerce has always been a topic of debate and the mood hasn’t been very upbeat off late. Investor sentiment has been positive though and this investment in Big Shoe Bazaar is certainly an indicator of the growing eCommerce story and the fact that it is here to stay. It’ll be interesting to see how this boost of funds will alter or fortify the way in how Big Shoe Bazaar steers the eCommerce ship.
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