When a Mumbai-based medium retailer, who does business in leather goods, decided to enter the e-commerce segment, it was a daunting task, no doubt. Photo-shoots, cataloguing, order processing, returns, payment reconciliations and other technology issues are some of the challenges that dithered him to open his online platform.
Founded in 2012, BLUBOX.in is a Mumbai-based platform which offers solutions to brands and retailers who want to venture into the e-commerce segment. The platform provides end-to-end services to brands, from product advisory to full management of their online business. It’s a platform that empowers sellers by simplifying their online selling process. It also offers its services to online marketplaces. It enables them to on-board maximum number of active sellers, solves the technical challenges faced by sellers and provides multiple channel solutions to marketplace.
Harish Singla, Co-founder and Director, BLUBOX, says, “We help sellers sell online through various marketplaces. We also help create e-stores for brands and help them with product advisory, cataloguing and listing services, order processing and customer service, warehousing and inventory management warehousing and other services.”
In the last three years, the company has managed to partner with 15 e-shopping portals. It is offering its expertise to over 150 brands and claims to have grown 10 times in the last 24 months.
BLUBOX is a ‘full service agency’ for Flipkart.com providing end-to-end services to Flipkart sellers and advising them on building their online brand by devising the right strategy.
This month, the platform raised Rs 66 lakh (USD 100,000) in angel funding led by Ashish Jhalani, promoter of Etailingindia.com and founder of Indian School of eBusiness. Others who participated in the round are Amit Jhalani, CEO of MySolitaire.com and Supreet Singh, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Altor.co.in.
The venture will use the funding to upgrade its technological infrastructure and fuel its expansion plan.
Market overview and existing competition
According to industry experts, of 4.8 million SMEs in the country, 40 per cent are engaged in consumer product. All of these SMEs which are manufacturers or sellers of consumer products and the potential customers in the segment.
However, there are not many big players in the market catering to the potential online sellers.
Goa-based Browntape is another player which helps online merchants manage orders and inventory for e-commerce marketplaces. In April 2015, Browntape raised the seed fund of around USD one million from serial entrepreneur K. Ganesh.
Sellerworx, with the similar service of helping small businesses sell at online marketplaces, makes competition triangular in the segment. In January this year, it received funding of around USD one million from Axilor Ventures and Kris Gopalakrishnan.
On existing competition, Harish says there is an enormous untapped opportunity with just a few players catering to the market. To give an idea about the potential market, Alibaba's Taobao has more than 85 lakh sellers on its platform. In India, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm and Amazon combined have less than one lakh unique sellers. This difference in numbers gives a picture of growth potential of the market. However, these marketplaces are launching various programs to attract the sellers. Still, there are lots of issues that need to be addressed before coaxing these sellers to sell online.
BLUBOX and other players are trying to reach the potential market. They are addressing the need of the market and claiming to offer complete solutions to the present and sellers who are their potential clients.