While bespoke merchandise businesses were shocked when Bluegape was forced to shut shop over mounting copyright issues last year, Hyderabad-based My Dream Store, which allows people to create and sell custom merchandise without any upfront costs, has raised $330K from undisclosed angels.
My Dream Store lets anyone sell merchandise without upfront costs, production, logistics or managing inventory and get paid immediately. “Our vision is to make selling easy,” says Karthik Venkat.
After validating the model, the startup approached a few investors and pitched its idea. “Seeing a strong potential in this model, investors who share common vision like us invested around $300K,” adds Venkat. The funds will help My Dream Store grow strong technological IP andreach, to scale faster.
Designers (essentially, campaign creators) are expected to design and market the product themselves. Buyers pre-order their products online on the campaign page. In exchange, My Dream Store fulfils the orders on campaigns that have reached their sales goal, and ships the products to the buyers.
The marketplace caters to designer/artist, school/college groups, online communities, NGOsand music bands.
“We started spreading awareness of our platform from June‘14. In the last six months, we had around 6lakh page views with nearly 2.5 lakh sessions on our site,” adds Venkat. As of now, the company has shipped 7,000 products.Nearly 1,700 products were shipped in December last year to revenues of approximately INR 7 lakhs.
The brainchild of Venkat and Bala Satish, My Dream Store has executed over 500 campaigns. Campaigners on its platform have managed to generate profits ranging from INR 3,000 to INR 35,000, per campaign. “We've many artists from NIFT, NID and social organisations like CRY selling their merchandise on our platform,” says Venkat.
Puru Modani, who serves on the advisory board at MDS, says, “This is disruptive e-commerce play as it addresses the excess inventory concerns with Just In Time order management. Add to that the extensive catalogue opportunityandthis looks like a winner already.”
According to market estimates, the total addressable market was $2 billion in 2008 with a CAGR of 14-15%. With increasing internet penetration, growing e-commerce and increasing interest in pop culture,themarket is valued to reach$20 billion by 2018.The company aspires to get around 2000 designers on board in the next six months, and provide them with an amazing interface to design and market their products. “By 2016, we aim to get annual revenues of $3 million,” says Venkat.
My Dream Store competes with Indian Angel Network-backed Alma Mater, another Bangalore-based online brand for official school and college merchandise besides Odisha-based CollegiateStore, an online brand for bespoke merchandise and alumni memorabilia for schools, colleges, non-profit organisation, companies,&etc.
Website: My Dream Store