According to sources, Indian economy grew by 7.9% in the first quarter of this year. Consumerism is continuously on the rise because of this, and as a result, the demand for consumer goods has also increased rapidly. Naturally, e-commerce accounted for almost half of the US$6.4 billion of funding for Indian start-ups. It continues the last few years’ trends when Flipkart became the first Indian start-up to get a billion dollar funding. Snapdeal also got a funding of nearly two-thirds of a billion dollars.
After Japan’s Softbank invested a huge amount of money in Snapdeal, Alibaba also decided to fund Paytm. Later in that year, it backed Snapdeal in two major proxy wars against its rival Amazon on Indian turf. Now let’s meet the 10 top funded e-commerce start-ups in India, as per the data gained from sources.
- Paytm – US$890 million
Backed by Alibaba, Paytm now has a funding of US$890 million under its belt. From being a small digital payments company to becoming a rapidly growing mobile commerce player pitted against some big names like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal, Paytm has used the money wisely. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of Paytm is now looking for best ways to divide the app into two, one for payments and the other one for commerce.
- Flipkart – US$750 million
Indian e-commerce leader Flipkart continues to get large funding in the fight for market share. Undoubtedly, giving large discounts to entice customers and investments into warehouses and logistics to make efficient delivery takes up a lot of money. However, this Indian e-commerce company managed to get US$750 million in its pocket. Co-founder Sachin Bansal is deciding whether going app-only would be beneficial.
- Snapdeal – US$500 million
Snapdeal, one of the main rivals of Flipkart went on an acquisition spree after getting US$627 million by Softbank. The cherry on top of this strategy was the acquisition of Freecharge in India’s biggest ever M&A deal. Now, Snapdeal and Freecharge have launched a wallet together rivaling that of Paytm in order to crack the digital payments issues in India.
- Pepperfry – US$100 million
Furniture marketplace Pepperfry comes fourth on this list, which proves that niche players can also win in the e-commerce game. Items such as furniture have specialized sourcing and delivery requirements, making it easy for a vertical player to serve better. By investing US$100 million in Pepperfry, Goldman Sachs made its first bet on Indian e-commerce market.
- Shopclues – US$100 million
The reason behind Shopclues’s success is its unique strategy, in which it offers lower price points by sourcing products from the unorganized sector. It is kind of like how thrift shops compete with the shopping malls. Although there is a risk factor, the bargains are too good.
- Yepme – US$87 million
Fashion is definitely a big niche in the e-commerce industry. Yepme is one of the leading e-commerce websites which is a noted rival of Flipkart’s Myntra. Quite interestingly, the investment fund of the Malaysian Government, Khazanah Nasional, led its recent US$75 million funding round.
- Homelane – US$54.5 million
The increasing purchasing power of urban Indians contributes to the success of this interior design marketplace Homelane. Because of India’s disorganized furniture and home decor market, Homelane managed to grow quickly.
- Urban Ladder – US$50 million
Pepperfry’s main rival Urban Ladder is also growing rapidly. The interesting thing is, both of them get many of their products from northwest India, specifically from the state of Rajasthan, which is famous for its fine craftsmanship. Besides the whopping amount of cash in its pocket, Urban Ladder has gained the attention of famous investors like Silicon Valley veterans Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan. It also has Indian tycoon Ratan Tata on board.
- Zivame – US$40 million
Bangalore-based online lingerie store Zivame was founded by BITS Pilani grad Richa Kar in the year 2011. From everyday undergarments to sensuous and sexy lingerie, along with bridal, plus-size and maternity lingerie, Zivame brought a wide collection of intimate wear for women. It got a series C round of funding of US$40 million from Khazanah Nasional and Zodius Technology Fund.
- Firstcry – US$36 million
Indian kids’ e-store Firstcry managed to bag US US$36 million in a funding round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Valiant Capital. Founded in the year 2010, it is a notable name in the Indian online baby care market, which is scaling up steadily.