Although it doesn’t figure very high up on the rankings of websites or e-retailers, e-marketplace ShopClues on Tuesday claimed it had entered the $1-billion valuation club, with the latest round of funding from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC and existing investors Tiger Global Management and Nexus Venture Partners. ShopClues shied away from divulging the quantum of the E-series funding but industry sources estimated it to be around $100-120 million. That puts the total fund infusion into the company so far at around $235 million.
The four-year old e-tailer clocked revenues of Rs 79.2 crore in FY15 according to a filing with the registrar of companies. Losses more than doubled to Rs 101.37 crore from Rs 38.2 crore in the previous year.
Radhika Aggarwal, co-founder and chief business officer, said the firm was confident its capital efficiency and execution would make this its last fund-raising before it became profitable with an eventual IPO in 2017.
Data from Alexa show that Amazon India is now the leading desktop website and the only e-commerce website to feature in the top five Indian websites. Flipkart is the top e-commerce app in India followed by Amazon India, Ola and Snapdeal. In October 2015, Amazon was the leading e-tailer by traffic with 200 million unique visitors followed by Flipkart with 164 million and Snapdeal with 109 million. ShopClues claims it attracts more than 100 million visits a month and that it ships 3.5 million items a month.
E-retailers are branching out into the food and grocery space whether through an inventory-led model, as with Amazon, or through the hyperlocal route as Snapdeal has done with PepperTap. ShopClues has not talked about entering this space yet, though it hopes to offer payment services, Aggarwal told FE recently. Aggarwal explained that the payments platform would be designed to focus on merchants rather than on customers and hinted the move might involve an acquisition since it required expertise.
Sanjay Sethi, ShopClues CEO and co-founder, said on Tuesday the fresh investment would enable the firm to double its focus on digitising merchants’ businesses so that they can scale up operations. ShopClues claims it is the dominant player in low price-point and unstructured categories like lifestyle, home, kitchen, electronic and automotive accessories.
“Our focus on selection, value and trusted shopping for Indian middle-class consumers has given us tremendous scale with a rapidly growing buyer and merchant network,” Sethi said.