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.
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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- Sequoia Capital
- Sujayath Ali
- online fashion
- online premium fashion
- luxury fashion