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NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd, a subsidiary of the NDTV media group that owns and operates ethnic wear-focused ecommerce venture IndianRoots, has raised $5Mn in Series B round of funding led by Astro Malaysia, according to sources close to the development.

IndianRoots had previously raised a $3 Mn in Series A round from NDTV Lifestyle Holdings Pvt Ltd., in which Astro All Asia Networks holds a 49% stake which it bought for $40 Mn. It also has an external minority investor, Rathi Strategic Ventures, from whom it had raised a seed round. NDTV had sold 13,769 shares in NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd to Rathi Strategic Ventures for INR 10 Cr. last year.

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We tried reaching out to Rahul Narvekar, CEO, IndianRoots who however denied to comment on the development.

Indianroots is a curated marketplace for premium ethnic wear brands and designers like Sabyasachi, Raw Mangoes, Anita Dongre, Neeta Lulla, Indian Artizans and Karigari.

Launched just a year back, IndianRoots has managed to maintain a strong hold in the Indian ethnic wear category with an “Average Order Value ”of INR 9000, which is highest in this segment, according to its last quarter results.  While the United States being its largest market, IndianRoots has also made strong inroads into India. India accounts for 30% of the total traffic and is it’s second largest market. Its revenue growth was at 52% QoQ and has incurred a loss of INR 4.5 Cr. for the past quarter.

The total market size of ethnic wear is said to be more than INR 7,000 Cr+ with number of players operating in this space including Utsav Fashions, CBazaar (who is also looking to raise a Series B round since last year) among others. However, there were players working on similar model but failed to meet the expectations, including Hutk whose operations were pulled back by Times Internet. Exclusively.in was yet another player which was acquired by Myntra.

The growing competition among the ecommerce marketplaces including Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal among others, has made players dealing in niche a soft target for possible acquisitions. In the context of Ethnic wear, Amazon had introduced this category on its platform a few months back, giving a tough competition for others dealing in this space. If market rumors are to be believed, IndianRoots was approached by Snapdeal for a possible acquisition.

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