Bangalore-based Caravan Craft raises just under $500K led by two individual investors

Bangalore-based Caravan Craft Retail Pvt Ltd has raised Rs 3 crore (around $482,000) from two individual investors along with existing investor Unitus Seed Fund, according to an ET Tech report citing a top company executive.

The latest round is led by Bijou Kurien and Narayan Ramachandran while Unitus also provided a seed investment.

The handicraft startup will use the money to increase its online presence and also to expand its footprint in the country and Europe.

"We are seeing an increased appeal for sophisticated and hand-crafted apparel and other items, both in the domestic and international markets today. We are also seeing increased orders through our e-commerce portal, and we are revamping it to take our products to international customers via online platforms as well," said Kunal R Sachdev, founder of Caravan Retail.

Bijou Kurien is a retail sector veteran and former chief executive (lifestyle) at Reliance Retail. He recently joined strategic advisory board of L Capital Asia.

Ramachandran is an investor and entrepreneur with a focus on financial services and social businesses. He is a former country head of Morgan Stanley in India and currently on the board of Unitus Capital.

"We will also be going to Delhi airport soon, and are looking to partner with big departmental stores in Switzerland, France and other European countries. We are also launching our online presence across multiple online channels and e-commerce sites," added Sachdev.

Caravan Craft is a single-brand retail concept venture which is looking at franchise outlets in tourist-heavy locations such as Goa, Jaipur and Cochin. The company has opened a retail store each in Bangalore and Pune, besides duty-free outlets at the Bangalore and Mumbai international airports.

According to its website, Caravan Craft operates through five ventricles—apparel, home products, toys, jewellery and corporate gifting.

Earlier in 2013 also, Unitus invested Rs 1.2 crore in the company. National skill Development Corporation (NSDC) had also put in some money in the past.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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