Fashion e-commerce startup Voonik raises $20 million in Series B fundingRadhika P Nair
Online fashion startup Voonik has raised $20 million in Series B funding, led by Sequoia Capital. Times Internet, Seedfund, Beenos, Beenext, Parkwood Bespin, Tancom Investments and Kunal Shah also participated in the round. The funding comes just 10 days after the Bengaluru-based startup acqui-hired three companies.
Funding new trajectory
The company said it will use the funds for improving customer experience and the personalisation part of their technology. The funds will also be used to scale up their new business categories.
Sujayath Ali, Co-founder and CEO of Voonik, said the Series A round of $5 million raised last year helped them gain scale. The Series B, Sujayath added, will help them consolidate their leadership in fashion commerce. "Our other two ventures are already paying off - Mr Voonik has crossed 5,000 shipments a day and Vilara is getting good traction from both high end users as well as from many designers and boutiques. This funding has happened at a very opportune moment,” he said.
The funding comes at a time when Voonik has just expanded into new categories. In April the company launched its mens fashion app Mr Voonik. Earlier this month, the startup launched Vilara, a marketplace for premium boutiques and designers.
Acquisitions to power growth
In August 2015, Voonik acqui-hired Trialkart, a virtual dressing room app. Hardly six months later, it acqui-hired Getsty, a curator of personalised fashion for men following which Voonik launched Mr Voonik.
Before launching Vilara the company bought out online occasion-wear brand Zohraa. At the same time it announced that it has acqui-hired Styl, an app that connects salons and stylists to users, as well as Picksilk, an online silk store for handloom sarees, for technology.
With the additional two platforms - Mr Voonik and Vilara - Voonik now offers fashion across categories and so is now competing more directly with other fashion portals like Myntra and Jabong along with luxury fashion retailers like Luxepolis, and Confidential Couture. Until the launch of Vilara, Voonik was focused on affordable fashion.
The company, which was founded in 2013, claims to have touched $100 million in annual GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) and a revenue run rate of $13 million.
Rise of online fashion
Voonik's latest round of funding comes at a time when the home-grown e-commerce leaders - Flipkart and Snapdeal - are facing funding and valuation troubles. There are also reports of the two rivals losing marketshare to Amazon.
However, it is very clear that online retail as an industry is growing rapidly. A recent study by IAMAI estimated that e-commerce in India will cross Rs 2 lakh crore this year. Online retail has grown by 57 percent since December 2014, with electronics goods and fashion contributing close to 50 percent of overall spend in e-tail.
Fashion has seen the most rapid growth, according to the report. Sales of apparel and footwear - the biggest segments under fashion - have grown by 52 percent, from Rs 4,699 crore in December 2014 to Rs 7,142 crore in December 2015. This category is expected to reach Rs 72,639 crore by end of this year.