Sequoia, Samwer brothers’ GFC invest $18M in ethnic e-tailer Craftsvilla

Mumbai-based Kribha Handicrafts Pvt Ltd, which runs Craftsvilla.coman e-commerce marketplace for for ethnic products, has raised $18 million (Rs 113 crore) in a round led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, it said on Thursday.

The round also includes another new investor Global Founders Capital (GFC), which is promoted by the Samwer brothers of Rocket Internet. The existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners also participated in the round.

Based in Germany, GFC, formerly known as European Founders Fund GmbH, is a $195 million venture capital firm founded in 2013 by Oliver and Marc Samwer, besides others. It seeks to invest in technology sector focusing on internet, software and wireless projects and provides seed, early, growth and later stage capital to companies. Last year, it had invested in Gurgaon-based lifestyle fashion and apparel e-tailer alongwith UK's CDC.

The company would use the money to grow its team in India and will also invest in scaling its technology platform.

“We are now facilitating over 100,000 transactions per month and are growing rapidly. This Series B funding will help us in building a brand and in investing in technology to serve our merchants and customers better. We are aspiring to be 10x our current size by the end of this year with 20 million products on our platform," said Monica Gupta, COO and co-founder of

Founded in 2011 by husband-wife duo Manoj and Monica Gupta, e-tails products across categories, including clothing, handicrafts, jewellery and art. It sells its products through 12,000 sellers in the country.

In 2011, raised Rs 2.3 crore from Nexus Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners in an early-stage round of funding. In 2012, both the investors jointly invested around Rs 8 crore ($1.3 million) in Series A round of funding.

“Craftsvilla has been growing rapidly below the radar and has now become the leading e-commerce marketplace for ethnic products in India. Manoj and Monica are an inspirational founding team who bootstrapped the company for the last several years after facing a prolonged period of slow adoption of ethnic products in e-commerce in the early years," said Shailendra Singh, managing director, Sequoia Capital India Advisors.

Sequoia has been investing actively in India. Since January this year, it has invested in more than one-and-a-half dozen companies.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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