Firstandsecond Moves From Click To Brick

New Delhi: | Updated: Aug 26 2002, 05:30am hrs
Duncan & Macneill-funded Firstandsecond.com - set up as a pure-play online book shop - is in the process of strengthening its offline network of brick-and-mortar outlets. It is looking at setting up 40 book stores across the country in addition to the three it already has in New Delhi.

In the first round, Firstandsecond.com raised $5 million in 2000 from Duncan & Macneil. By the end of this year, we will set up 20 stores, Firstandsecond.com CEO GBS Bindra said.

He said the company is in talks with a few US-based private equity funds to raise the second round of funding to the tune of another $5 million in the next three months.

These funds will be used to set up offline book stores across the country and we are talking to strategic investors who can add value in terms of strengthening our presence and offerings, Mr Bindra said.

In March 2002, the company clocked revenues of Rs 6.5 crore and for this fiscal it is targeting revenues of Rs 12 crore and profit of Rs 1 crore.

Firstandsecond also has ambitious plans to acquire book stores in the country, specifically in Bangalore and Hyderabad.

With a collection of over 2.5 million titles, Mr Bindra claims that the company was ahead of other online book stores like Amazon.com. With 20 stores in place by the end of this year, the company is targeting at 40 per cent of revenues from its offline operations and the rest (60 per cent) from online. At present, its offline operations are not so significant, he said.