NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd, a subsidiary of the NDTV Ltd, which operates the group’s maiden ecommerce venture, IndianRoots.com has concluded a fresh round of funding of $ 5 Mn at valuation of US$ 85 Mn in Series B led by KJS Group. The funds raised will be used to scale up the logistics and delivery mechanisms, expand its marketing activity with the aim to be the market leader in Indian fashion in the year ahead. Last year in September it had raised $5 Mn in Series A.
IndianRoots.com was launched in mid-2013 showcases over 100 designers and 700+ brands on its curated online marketplace. It has a worldwide customer base with India and USA being the largest markets.
Dr. Prannoy Roy, Co-Chairperson NDTV, said, “We have always envisioned IndianRoots.com as the leading ecommerce player in its segment. With the fresh investment in the business and the complete backing of the NDTV Group, IndianRoots will be able to push harder in achieving its plans for the year. We look forward to our partnership with the KJS Group in strengthening the IndianRoots venture.”
NDTV Ethnic had achieved gross merchandise values (GMV) of Rs. 61 crores in the year ending March 31st 2015 a 12x jump over its previous year.
Speaking about their investment Kamaljeet Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman, KJS Group and Mr Karanpal Singh, Director, KJS Group said, “Given our interest in the e-commerce sector, partnering with a respected and credible organization such as NDTV was the obvious choice for us. The clear positioning of IndianRoots and its achievements in the Indian fashion domain, we are confident that the business has a great growth story ahead.”
IndianRoots had previously raised a $3 Mn 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.
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, which got funded few months back, 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.