Home and furnishing segment in Indian e-commerce prepares for consolidation

By Jubin Mehta|31st Mar 2015
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Indian e-commerce story has played out in cycles. The initial rise in the early 2000's which waned away after the dot com bust saw a second uprising in 2011. This was the year when every eCommerce company was getting funded and the India story was shining. The bullish phase was followed by a bit of a lull in the two years around 2013 and then, the race for scale and consolidation began. Flipkart and Snapdeal swallowed up huge chunks of money and foreign investors started getting interested with India being pegged as the next China. Since then, activity has been frantic and consolidation has been in the air. Fashion saw the first wave with Flipkart acquiring Myntra after many other smaller acquisitions, electronics has also been busy with activity and now, it seems like the time for the Home and Furnishing segment is arriving.

Yesterday, LivSpace acquired Dezignup and the announcement set the ball rolling for this piece where we bring to you all the buzz from the 'home and furnishing' segment:

1) LivSpace: Founded in 2012, Livspace is a personalized home design and decor marketplace for homeowners in India and South East Asia. The Bangalore based company has raised $4.6M Series A funding, led by Helion Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners along with Singapore based Jungle Ventures as investors.


livspace_featured

Livspace has been founded by Anuj Srivastava, an IIT Kanpur graduate and former Head of product marketing for many eCommerce and online advertising products at the Google headquarters in Sillicon Valley, Shagufta Anurag, an architect and founder of Space Matrix, a large corporate interior design company, and Ramakant Sharma, an IIT Kanpur graduate and former VP, Engineering at Myntra.com. The company most recently acquired Dezignup, a dynamic design community and marketplace. The product has already been integrated with LivSpace.


dezignup-livspace

2) HomeLane:  An organized tech-based solution for semi-furnishing market in India, pegged to be close to $10 billion in market size in 2015. HomeLane follows a hybrid model. While a customer can chose the designs, fixtures and customized fittings online, its delivery to is done by HomeLane’s operations team. The company has been founded by veteran entrepreneur and investor Srikanth Iyer along with four others.


Team Homelane

Earlier this year in February, HomeLane raised $4.5 million series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Aarin Capital. HomeLane had previously raised seed funding from serial entrepreneur duo Meena and K Ganesh at its inception.

3) UrbanLadder: Probably the most buzzing upstart in the space, UrbanLadder in a way opened up the home and furnishing segment. Founded by Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa back in 2012, UrbanLadder was a single aim of providing good quality, well-designed, competitively priced and dependable furniture in India.


urbanladder

Over time, the company has grown and offers more than 1000 products across 25 categories. As of 2014, the company has been doing 100--200 transactions daily with an average ticket size of INR 20,000. UrbanLadder is also well backed by investors like Ratan Tata. Before this, the company raised Series B funding from Steadview Capital and existing investors SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital. With about $30 million in funding, UrbanLadder also has made an acquisition later in 2014 when it acqui-hred BuynBrag.

4) FabFurnish: An Indian furniture and interior decoration retailer founded in 2012, FabFurnish.com retails online, and has showrooms in India. The company was launched in March 2012 by Vaibhav Aggarwal, Vikram Chopra and Mehul Agrawal. Products are sold under several private label brands, including Fab Home, KingSelect, Elmwood, Blossoms and Rocca, in addition to national and international brands. FabFurnish.com follows both an inventory model and a managed marketplace model. As of 2014, FabFurnish has been doing around 1500 deliveries daily (source).


fabfurnish

FabFurnish is mainly funded by Rocket Internet and Kinnevik who have invested more than $30 million and reports suggest that another round of $50 million is in the offing.

5) PepperFry: Founded in January 2012 by Ambareesh Murty (former eBay Country Manager) and Ashish Shah (former head of eBay Motors-India and Philippines), PepperFry is a furniture and home products e-commerce marketplace. Based in Mumbai, the company has more than 75000 products listed on the marketplace.


pepperfry

The company is owned by Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt Ltd and has raised close to $30 million till date. In 2014, the company raised $15 million in the third round of funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) and the existing investor Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) had also participated in the round.

6) Furlenco: A Bangalore based startup, Furlenco rents out furniture on a monthly subscription model. The company has raised $6 million from Lightbox Ventures. Founded by ex-Goldman Sachs senior professional Ajith Karimpana, Furlenco had previously raised a small angel round of $100k.

Furniture rental startup Furlenco raises a $6 million series A round from Lightbox Ventures
Team Furlenco

7) Nestopia: A younger startup, Nestopia is an interior design marketplace that makes designing and building spaces a seamless experience by bringing home owners, design professionals, product sellers and the construction community together through various social and mobile collaborative tools. A sort of TripAdvisor + Linkedin for the design and construction industry. The venture has been founded by Harsh Jain, a Rutgers Business School grad.

Nestopia: A TripAdvisor + LinkedIn for the interior design industry
Nestopia: A TripAdvisor + LinkedIn for the interior design industry

The home and furnishing industry is a huge one when one looks at the market sizes. Furniture alone is a $20 billion industry. To put things in perspective, baby products is a $5 billion industry while lingerie is a $3 million industry (source). Niche e-commerce typically associates with smaller market sizes but that doesn't seem to be the case with many categories, including furnishing. Many of these companies in different sectors stand a chance to exist independently and ace the market. But with more and more players coming in with different angles, consolidation is certainly in the air.

Update- Here are links to more companies in the space pointed out by readers in the comments and by mail:

CustomFurnish- Custom designer furniture in India

ZingyHomes- Unifying online platform for interior design & architecture

Ghar360- Design and visualize homes

InvisibleBed- Space Saving furniture solutions

PinkScape- Fresco art for Indian homes

Mebelkart- Online furniture

Renderlogy- Online decor solutions

Intruo- Home interiors

Lekiaan- Furniture label

Urbanhomez- Online platform for home and office construction, etc.

Dwll.in- Marketplace of professional interior designers

What do you think of the home and furnishing space? Do you know of any other interesting players in the space? Do drop in a comment. 

(image credit: ShutterStock)

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