Online fashion discovery platform Wooplr has raised an undisclosed amount funding from the Co-founders of InMobi, Naveen Tewari, Abhay Singhal, and Amit Gupta, InMobi Chief Product Officer Piyush Shah, TaxiForSure Co-founder Raghunandan G, and ex-Puma India CEO Rajiv Mehta. They will join Wooplr as Board advisors.
Wooplr, headquartered in Bangalore, has branch offices in Delhi and Mumbai, and is planning to expand their team size with the new round of investment. Currently, Wooplr has 75 employees.
Arjun Zacharia, CEO, Wooplr, said,
Together as a team, we will continue our growth trajectory and hit $100 million GMV by 2018.
Wooplr claims to have 2 million women customers and 20,000 monthly transactions, with an average bill size of Rs 1,200, almost double that of horizontal e-commerce players.
Wooplr had already made news this year when Rajiv Mehta, CEO Arvind Lifestyle, joined them as a senior advisor, and Rajesh Kamra, Co-founder, Koovs, joined as the head of commerce in January. Founded in 2012 by Praveen Rajaretnam, Ankit Sabharwal, Soumen Sarkar, and Arjun Zacharia, Wooplr raised $5 million in Series A from Helion Ventures about a year ago.
Online discovery platforms play a major role in e-commerce, especially in fashion. They offer products of different ranges and brands, as well as provide the cost and availability – all in the same platform. The sector focuses mostly on women, and with faster internet penetration through mobile, they seem to be on the right track. A 2014 report by Google and Forrester Consulting found that 40 million of the expected 100 million online shoppers in 2016 will be women.
Like in most other sectors in e-commerce, success of online discovery platforms also depends on assortment of products, along with innovation and price comparison. But unlike horizontal marketplaces which provide thousands of products, discovery platforms personalise their selections and put together a whole look in their apps. While not selling products themselves, they directly help drive traffic to e-commerce sites. Although the sector is still in its infancy, it has the potential for standalone businesses to flourish. Players like MySmartPrice and Voonik fall in the same category but follow different business models. Voonik, in fact, recently acqui-hired Getsty - a curator of personalised fashion for men - as part of its strategy to launch a men’s fashion app. Another top player, Limeroad, also raised a $30 million in Series C round in March 2015. `
Acquisitions are also a possibility. Last year, Snapdeal acquired Doozton — a fashion discovery site founded in 2013. Globally too, e-commerce platforms acquiring online discovery startups is not unheard of. Brazil’s Buscape acquired social commerce and discovery platform Shopcliq in 2012. In late 2014, US discovery platform Wanelo merged with Shopify. In July, Yahoo acquired Polyvore — a major American fashion discovery app.
Among Wooplr’s competitors is Roposo, which raised $15 million from Tiger Global in August 2015. The Wooplr app – which claims to be the ‘instagram for fashion’ – currently has more than a million downloads. “Our team internally generates reports on fashion focus and trend analysis daily. Thus, our app gets curated content,” Praveen Rajaretnam, Co-founder of Wooplr, had earlier told YourStory.
E-commerce has already become a comfort zone for the urban population. With a generation increasingly becoming more fashion conscious along with possessing a disposable income, fashion discovery platforms are here to stay. Riding the wave of e-commerce, the sector is sure to attract more investments and produce more innovation in the near future.