Private shopping site for luxury brands and designer apparel Fashionandyou.com has raised $8 million from Sequoia Capital India.
The fresh deal closely follows quite a few transactions in this space. Only a month ago, Exclusively.in, another invitation-only shopping portal, raised $2.8 million from Helion Ventures and Accel Partners while Germany's multimedia group Axel Springer AG acquired 19.1% stake in BagItToday.com, owned by the India Today Group.
Fashionandyou.com partners directly with around 400 designer brands to offer discounted prices to its members on fashion apparel, accessories and home ware. The portal was launched in November 2009 by Pearl Uppal, who was previously Yahoo India sales director and joined by
entrepreneur Harish Bahl, Founder and CEO of Smile Interactive Technologies Group as Chairman, Fashionandyou.com.
Bahl confirmed the development. "We have been shipping 2,000 orders every day and growing at 30% month on month on an organic basis," he said. He did not reveal the number of members of the site, only commenting that it is greater than 5,50,000 which is the number of Facebook fans the website has recorded.
The company will use the funds to scale up in a market where a better collection of brands and merchandise, an user-friendly website and varied payment options with fast delivery are key."We will be investing in technology, CRM, logistics and reverse logistics to get ecommerce to the next level, which is not an easy task. It is very operations-heavy and to sustain the growth we have seen so far, we will have to invest in infrastructure. We will also work closely with the trade and add more brands," he said.
Sequoia Capital India bet on Fashionandyou.com's business model and scale. Shailendra Singh, Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India, said, "It's a business with network effects because members invite other members and that's the engine for growth and that makes it a defensible model, and Fashionandyou has very high repeat buying that suggests that consumers are seeing a lot of value. Their scale also allows them to be a meaningful business partner for brands."
There has been a lot of action and excitement in this space globally. Fashionandyou.com is backed by Group Buying Global AG, the same holding company behind Gilt Groupe and is part of a global brand alliance of private sales clubs in 8 other countries - Russia (with KupiVIP), Brazil and Mexico (with Brandsclub), Turkey (Markafoni), Middle East (Sukar), Australia (BrandsExclusive), and Switzerland (FashionFriends).On the advantage that being associated with a network of similar sites, Bahl said Fashionandyou shares best practices and leverages marketing, management and procurement buying with partner portals across various countries.
Invitation-only shopping site Gilt.com Gilt Groupe has grown at a scorching pace and witnessed high valuations this year compared to last year. It first raised $48 million in 2009 from General Atlantic and Matrix Partners at a $400M valuation and followed it up with $35 million in venture capital funding in May.
Fashionandyou competes with Exclusively.in, Bagittoday and 99labels.com in India.
Sister company Dealsandyou.com which offers a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in 15 cities, recently appointed a new CEO - Gaurav Kachru. Kachru was the financial advisor for the FashionAndYou.com acquisition and oversaw the Dealsandyou.com business
as the head of Smile Group's new business incubation and corporate development.
The funding was reported by Medianama last night.