Painting a rosy picture of the overall growth of consumer technology and online retail space, early stage venture capital fund Lightbox Ventures believes that building brands is the next big phase of e-commerce in the country.
“There’s a big opportunity for Indian brands to scale up. We are investing in brands that are vertically integrated, offer quality and take full responsibility for their product,” Sandeep Murthy, partner at Lightbox Ventures, told PTI.
The online marketplaces have seen rapid success, with a handful of companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal dominating the space over the past 3-4 years because of a highly fragmented offline retail industry, the promise of increased Internet penetration, rising per capita income and changing consumer behaviour, he said.
“As e-commerce matures, building a brand online with a well-rounded understanding of consumer preferences that offers a user experience tailored to specific needs would see good growth,” Murthy said.
Lightbox Ventures recently pumped in USD 6 million into furniture rental company Furlenco from its second fund.
Focused on consumer technology, the fund has a corpus of Rs 600 crore (USD 100 million) and has also made an investment of Rs 120 crore (USD 20 million) in quick-service fast-food chain Faaso’s and test preparation outfit, Embibe, among others.
Lightbox Ventures funds innovation in sectors like e-commerce, mobile, education, healthcare and finance.
“We want to build stuff. Typically, we would like to stay invested in the company for 7-8 years and see it grow,” Murthy said.
The first fund, Lightbox Ventures I, has equity stakes in refurbished consumer goods online retailer GreenDust, online photo service ZoomIn, navigation services company, MapmyIndia, online payment platform Paymate, e-commerce arm of Future Group, Future Bazaar and solar panel manufacturer Kotak Urja.