Zivame, Clovia, and PrettySecrets are India’s answer to Victoria’s Secret and its ilk (or at least aim to be). But before online lingerie ecommerce happened to India, its innerwear story looked very different.
There was a time when buying innerwear was a clandestine, annual affair where the “ladies” of the house flocked together to the neighbourhood “hosiery” store to buy functional, boring “undergarments”. Enter MTV and flaunting bra straps and G-strings became a commonplace thing. Today, the world’s best, sexiest, and most stylish lingerie designs and brands are available in India and, that too, online. Aiding the change was globalisation, the Internet, and, of course, ecommerce which, like everything else, has brought lingerie online. No more going to the local ganji store to buy Rupa or Lady Care bras!
Three major players — Zivame, Clovia, and PrettySecrets — played emissaries of the change. In FY16-17, the trio reported a combined revenue of INR ~100 Cr ($14.7 Mn). On the face of it, this looks like a steadily developing niche market. But if you look closely, something doesn’t smell quite right, at least for certain players.
Let’s take a quick look at the funding and other numbers:
- PrettySecrets was initially launched as an offline boutique in 2005; its online platform was launched only in 2011. Till date, it has received a total funding of $8.83 Mn.
- Zivame started as a marketplace in 2011 and has raised $46.7 Mn in funding so far.
- Clovia was launched in 2012 and has secured $10.8 Mn funding.
While Zivame has secured the highest amount of funding and boasts greater revenue than the other two combined, it reported a fall in its revenue by 7% in FY16-17 compared to FY15-16. As of today, it has already gone through two major pivots and changes in its managerial team, with former CEO Richa Kar resigning from the company in February 2017.
From being launched as a marketplace in 2011, Zivame pivoted to a mixture of a marketplace and private label model in 2013. Later, in 2016, it applied for a single retail brand license and pivoted for the second time. Last year — possibly smarting from the FY16-17 losses — it discarded the idea and rolled back the marketplace model again. However, the changes in its business model have not yet been implemented.