Voonik acqui-hires three startups, launches boutique marketplace Vilara

7th Jun 2016
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Fashion marketplace Voonik, which had defined itself as the online destination for affordable fashion, has now launched a marketplace for premium boutiques and designers, Vilara, by acqui-hiring online occasion-wear brand Zohraa. Additionally, Voonik has also 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.

Voonik (1)
Team Vilara

Sujayath Ali, CEO, Voonik, said: “By acqui-hiring Zohraa, we got access to a premium supplier network. With Picksilk on board, we now have access to a highly coveted silk weaver community. Styl team gave the immediate impetus to the Vilara App development. We got to market with both web and app within a record time.” Styl’s Founders Anup Mohan and Srikant Ch were part of the founding team of messaging app Lookup. Styl is a nine-member team.

Shiv Kancharla, CEO, Picksilk, said in the statement: “We built a company to connect under-represented and technologically-backward handloom sector to a huge base of women who love silk sarees. Joining Vilara will help us in fulfilling our dream of bringing joy to every woman through a pure silk saree”.

So far, Voonik’s competition was marketplaces like Myntra, Jabong and Limeroad along with social network sites Roposo and Wooplr. But online premium fashion is a different ballgame altogether. Luxury and premium fashion has been rising in Indian e-commerce, with the entry of multiple business models via Styletag, Luxepolis, and Confidential Couture. To get an edge over their competitors, Vilara will be catering to home category besides fashion. A similar player is two-year old VioletStreet, a marketplace for more than 100 handloom boutiques, with 70 percent of items designed exclusively for them, at an average ticket size of Rs 5,000.

Sujayath tells YourStory, “All three acqui-hires are a part of a well-thought-out strategy of acquiring a large share of the premium designer and boutique segment. Every big city in the country boasts of a few unique boutiques that have a loyal customer following. We have built a platform that has made all the boutiques and designers accessible to everyone.”

Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan co-founded Voonik in 2013. Having secured $5 million in Series-A funding from Sequoia Capital and Seedfund in June 2015, Voonik has been expanding their horizons. In August 2015, Voonik had acqui-hired Trialkart, a virtual dressing room app. Hardly six months later, they acqui-hired Getsty, a curator of personalised fashion for men, following which in April they launched Mr Voonik, a fashion app dedicated to men’s fashion.

With Internet penetration in India expected to reach 462 million this year, and e-commerce estimated to be worth $38 billion, Voonik has a large customer base to cater to. Currently, Voonik is valued at $80million with more than 10,000 sellers, and claims to operate without inventory and fulfillment centres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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