[Sector Insights] Key highlights you must be aware of in the Indian ecommerce sector (Q1 2014)

Ecommerce sector summary Q1 2014

E-commerce sector in Q1 2014 was dominated by the news of Flipkart and Myntra’s merger rumors along with Snapdeal raising a large round of funding led by eBay. However, there were many other developments including emerging startups, existing startups bringing in new developments and so forth. Read on to know more!

Section 1: Funding News

  • SnapDeal: One of the largest Indian eCommerce marketplace has raised a funding round worth $133 million led by eBay who has previously invested $50 million. This round also has other investors Kalaari Capital, Nexus Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Saama Capital participating in the round. The company has raised close to $250 million till date
  • Myntra: Putting a halt to speculations about probable acquisition of Myntra by Flipkart, Myntra confirmed the $50 million investment led by Premji Invest along with existing investors Accel Partners and Tiger Global. This funding will be used by Myntra to strengthen its technology, infrastructure, customer experience and fund future growth initiatives
  • LocalBanya: A Mumbai based online supermarket has raised its Series A funding from Karmvir Avant Group. They had raised one round six months back from BCCL’s Springboard fund. The funds will be used to scale up operations, recruiting and marketing
  • TeaBox: Teabox recently announced that it has raised around $1million funding from Accel Partners and Horizen Ventures. Winner of eSparks2013, is an online portal to buy tea and they have shipped over five million cups of tea till date. Teabox seems to be sitting in a sweet spot for accelerated growth given the global market size and the specialized niche

Section 2: Industry Developments

  • Flipkart: The e-commerce pioneer in India achieved a GMV of $1 billion in March 2014, a year before the projected target date in 2015. The numbers show that the growth has been 100x in the last three years, as per the official statement
  • 21Fools: 21Fools recently launched ‘plantable greeting cards’, after a series of other innovative marketing initiatives including reaching out to the Indian soldiers. These cards are made from a ‘plantable’ paper which is a biodegradable eco-paper embedded with seeds. When the paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds grow and the paper composts away. All that is left behind is a flowering plant. Every card made by 21fools is hand printed by local craftsmen
  • Baggout: Baggout has a cashback component in addition to the discount offered on the retailer’s site. Users can browse through a personalized product stream based on what their friends and other Baggout users seem to like and buy. In essence, this is a social layer on top of traditional product aggregation services
  • Collectabillia: Collectabillia is an e-commerce platform that brings fans closer to celebrities by giving them access to celebrity memorabilia. Collectabillia also allows auctions of items in addition to the outright purchase by the user. Its current user base is 1,50,000 customer strong, serviced both directly through the site as well as other e-commerce giants like Snapdeal, Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart, eBay and Amazon

Section 3: Emerging Startups in the Sector

  • Vox Pop Clothing: Sddharth Taparia, earlier Executive Director and Business Head of Licensing at The Walt Disney Company, has created Vox Pop clothing, which sells original merchandise of your favourite icons, characters and stories. Existing licenses include those with Superman, Batman, Game of Thrones, Dexter and Star Trek
  • Artisangilt: Artisangilt aims to bridge the gap between offline demand supply gap, not only in handmade products but also in several non-branded, non-standard designer product categories like sarees, fashion jewellery and paintings among others. The seven-month-old startup offers over 15,000 products across 50 plus lifestyle categories
  • CollegiateStore: This 6-month old e-commerce startup from Odisha has shipped over 3000 monthly orders to over 50 business clients. The store creates customized merchandise and alumni memorabilia for schools, colleges, companies and non-profit organizations
  • Look Its Me: A quaint little startup creating custom story books with your own child as the main protagonist. You can now order one of the illustrated storybooks which have a central character, send your child’s name and gender and you’ll receive the story with your child’s name

Any other major development that you think deserves mention here? (January 1 to March 31 occurrences only!)

Chaitanya Ramalingegowda

Chaitanya is the Consulting Tech Editor at YourStory.com. He is also the founder of HatkeShaadi.com, the world's first crowdsourced matrimonial service - discovering the best matches wherever they might be.. Prior to that, he was a management consultant advising Fortune 50 CxOs across the world on their global strategies. He is an MBA (2005) from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and BE (Computer Science) from NIE Mysore. Twitter: @InfiniChai