Ambareesh Murty, Founder, Pepperfry on his new Ecommerce Startup and raising funding before the launch
Ecommerce startup Pepperfry recently raised US$ 5 million Series A funding from Norwest Venture Partners before launching the website to the public. We caught up with Ambareesh Murty, CEO and Founder to learn more about Pepperfry. Ambareesh is eBay India’s former Country Manager.YS: What will Pepperfry offer?
AM: Pepperfry.com is all about creating opportunities for the modern Indian shopper to affordably indulge her tastes for stylish lifestyle products. We will do so by offering over 25,000 pocket happy lifestyle items across categories such as Clothing, Furniture & Home Décor, Precious & Fashion Jewellery, Lifestyle Accessories and Personal Care at launch and will go the extra mile to give our customers a consistently great experience.
How do you plan to use the funding you’ve raised?
The US$ 5 Million investment will be utilized to help scale our business rapidly. Our immediate investments are towards delivering great customer experience through an extensive logistics infrastructure aimed at building a good repeat customer franchise. We will subsequently drive customer trial by stepping up our marketing spends post February 2012.
What was the motivation behind starting a venture in the competitive and crowded ecommerce segment in India?
In my view the e-commerce market in India is still fairly early stage and a small percentage of the overall Indian retail space, this is even more so in lifestyle products. The good thing about the industry is that it is not a ‘winner takes all’ market and therefore there are enough opportunities to build large sustainable e-commerce businesses as is evident in the more evolved e-commerce markets across the world. Finally, while technology products, books and media dominate Indian e-commerce today, I believe the opportunity going forward will be in lifestyle products and we hope to cater to this customer need through Pepperfry.com.
Any comments on being funded even before the launch?
I think we were fortunate that Norwest was willing to bet on us prior to launching the site. I guess their decision would have been driven by the quality of the team and the robustness of our plan; I think their faith is borne out by our speed of execution in getting a great team together and being ready to launch with thousands of items in under 5 months.
If you too are excited by the E-commerce opportunity in India, then register now to attend E-Sparks 2011 - India’s First E-commerce Startup Showcase, to be held on 17th December, Bangalore!