Pidilite Industries, which makes the Fevicol lineup of products, has led a $40 Mn funding round in Mumbai-based online furniture and home products marketplace Pepperfry.
Inc42 has reached out to Pepperfry for more information about the funding round and the plans for the company. As per a report in ET, the round is still not closed and Pepperfry could add more investors before closing the round.
Pidilite is trying to back new-age tech companies which are working in the furniture and home improvements space, which aligns with the company’s core business. The investment into Pepperfry comes a month after the Fevicol maker co-invested $30 Mn in online interior design company Home Lane.
Back in 2018, Pepperfry raised close to $38.5 Mn from State Street Global Advisors, which is the asset management business of State Street Corporation. The company also raised $31 Mn from Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), and Zodius Technology Fund. Goldman Sachs also led a $100 Mn funding round in Pepperfry in 2015.
Founded in January 2012 by Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah, Pepperfry opened its first studio in December 2014. Currently, it has 67 such studios, including both owned and franchise, across 24 Indian cities. In the second half of 2019, Pepperfry opened 25 new Pepperfry Studios.
“Irrespective of whether a customer is surfing on an electronic device, or walking through a mall — it’s essentially the same customer to us and as a brand, it is important for us to interact with them in the way they want to interact with us,” Murty told Inc42 in an earlier interaction about the company’s journey towards the unicorn club.
So far, the company has raised over $237.5 Mn in total. The company is now looking to go public in the next 12-18 months.
Moreover, Pepperfry also wants to achieve a billion-dollar gross merchandise volume (GMV) by 2021, but its regulatory filings of FY19 show that its revenue grew 47% to INR 206.7 Cr. At the same time, Pepperfry’s expenses also noted a hike of 71% to INR 390.2 Cr and losses increased by 72% to INR 183.48 Cr.
From a financial standpoint, the Mumbai-based company claims to be operating at 50% gross margins because of the high margin gains from private label brands. According to Murty, for every INR 100 of product that it sells, the company makes close to INR 25.
Pepperfry plans to open several 500 sq ft virtual reality studios, where customers can walk in, choose a room layout and view how products will look in that room on a VR headset.
“We have been trying to blur the line between offline and online through our omnichannel strategy by opening Pepperfry studios. Now we want to blur the lines further with virtual reality,” Murty had said last year.