Fashion e-tailer Yepme plans to take its private brands global

Written by Anushree Bhattacharyya | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 1 2014, 15:36pm hrs
YepmeYepme entered the US earlier this year with the launch of YepMeWorld.com.
Yepme, one of Indias largest online private-label fashion retailers, is planning to take its home-grown brands global. In order to expand its footprint, the e-tailer is looking at raising $100-200 million in fresh funding this year.

Yepme entered the US earlier this year with the launch of YepMeWorld.com. It also sells its brands on Amazon in the US. It has so far raised around $22 million in funds from investors such as Helion Venture Partners.

The company, which switched its business model in 2011 from being a market place to now focussing on private labels, is aiming to touch $100 million in sales after accounting for income from selling coupons, discounts, taxes and return of goods by 2015 fiscal.

Yepme CEO Vivek Gaur says private labels is a high-margin business and his company has grown three folds in the last three years. While this year so far we have had double-digit growth, the idea now is to increase the margins on the products sold on the site from 40-45% to 50%.

India is a manufacturing hub for global brands such as H&M and Zara. Gaur said with many of the capabilities required for manufacturing apparel already present in the country, it will not be challenging for YepMe to create two or three powerful local brands that could be taken globally. The e-tailer is also open to acquiring local private labels, Gaur said.

Most e-tail companies in India do not reveal their net sales. Instead, they disclose sales in terms of gross merchandise value of the goods sold. Yet, insiders say this would be the first time a private brand e-tailer will close net sales worth $100 million.

The private-label e-commerce business has few large players such as Zovi.com and LimeRoad.com. If YepMe crosses the $100-million mark, it would become the largest fashion e-tailer in the private label game, said Jaspreet Bindra, former Microsoft India head and now an angel investor.

The company will soon be releasing a marketing campaign featuring Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan. He is a known face internationally, too, and hence, the choice, said Gaur.