Exclusively.in, a flash sale website offering high-end products in areas like Indian fashion and home decor, has raised $2.8 million in funding from Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners. The website currently sends its products from India to US but also plans launch its services in countries like Canada, UK and India by early 2011.
It will use the funding for marketing and to expand its technology platform and consumer markets.
Exclusively.in offers products like jewelry, handbags, crafts, paintings, hotel rooms and is planning to expand to verticals like travel. Sunjay Guleria is CEO and co-founder of the startup, which launched its website in June this year.
Online private sale sites have been growing in popularity over the past several years, buoyed by the success of companies such as Gilt Groupe and Rue La La in the U.S., and Vente Privee in Europe. Exclusively.In is one of the first companies to bring luxury ethnic fashion and lifestyle products to the U.S. via the members-only, private-sale format.
FashionandYou, launched by Delhi-based Smile Interactive Group, is a competition to the company, although the latter is focused on the US markets and the former on the Indian markets.
Niche e-commerce plays seem to be catching the fancy of investors as both Helion and Accel India have backed companies in this segment before. Helion is an investor in recently Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, which is India's largest travel portal. Helion has also invested in Redbus, which is a bus ticketing company.
"Exclusively.In has the potential to disrupt a massive market of global ethnic retail and in them we see some of the early traits of success that mirror our other global social commerce investments," states Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel India.
Accel India is early investor in Flipkart, which started with selling books and has expanded into products like mobiles and DVDs.