Myntra Designs, a Bangalore-based company that provides customised gifts and merchandise, has raised $5 million in its Series A round of funding. The round is led by NEA-Indo US Ventures and IDG Ventures India, and Accel Partners (formerly Erasmic Venture Funds) which is a return backer.
Erasmic merged with Silicon Valley based Accel Partners earlier this year. The firm raised angel funding from Erasmic Venture Fund and other investors like Sasha Mirchandani of Mumbai Angels last year. Vani Kola from NEA Indo-US and Sudhir Sethi from IDG Ventures will join the board of Myntra.
Another firm in this segment that recently raised funding was Hyderabad based eYantra, which raised $3.1 million in a Series A from Ventureast and Argonaut.
Myntra is a website from where you can design your own T-shirts, mugs, key chains and other consumer products and then buy them. The firm plans to use the funds raised for geographical and product portfolio expansion, and also expand its team. “We have identified products for both our individual and institutional market segment,” said Mukesh Bansal, CEO and Founder of Myntra.
Myntra’s Expansions Plans
The firm currently has a presence in Delhi and Bangalore, and plans to expand to top 10 cities in India over the course of next two years. The cities where it plans to have a presence in near future are Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. “We plan to go to a new city every 3-6 months, and after 3-4 markets we plan a new city every quarter,” says Bansal.
Myntra was formed in 2006 as an online only company. Since then the firm has expanded to corporate and institutional clients. Now, two-thirds of its revenues come from institutional clients, while the rest come from individual online users.
Currently Myntra has 20 products on offer for the online individual customers, while it has 50 products on offer for institutional clients. So far the it has served around 100 companies and 30 colleges, and it plans to use that experience to expand its product range. “We plan to have a more focused catalogue for every segment of the company and every occasion,” says Bansal. “This would lead to better offerings and better margins,” he adds.
Myntra also plans to expand its team to 150 people from the present 50, and Bansal feels its a good time to hire talents. With the slowdown in the economy, good talent will be available at the reduced prices, he says.
But isn’t Myntra feeling the impact of the slowdown? “We are a very small company so it’s too early to feel the affect,” Bansal says. In fact, October was the best month for Myntra in terms of revenues, which were three times the monthly average of last three months. The company also recently crossed annual revenue of Rs 4 crore. But Bansal is in touch with reality and admits they are bound to feel the impact. “But we are not revising any of our forecasts for the next two years,” he adds.
Merchandising Space Hots Up
The fact that two companies in this space have got funding in a period 3-4 months says a lot about the opportunity that merchandising and on demand personalisation presents. Online photo printing companies also overlap into this space. Then there are also corporate gifting companies that are active in this segment.
There are a number of photo printing firms that have raised venture capital funding. One of the oldest photo portals is ZoomIn, which is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Sherpalo Ventures. Then there is also Printo, which has received funding from Sequoia Capital and Seed Fund. Bangalore-based Picsquare also recently went offline and received an undisclosed investment from city-based Bhola Digital Lab.
Another portal is Banglore-based Canvera, which raised Series A funding in May this year from Footprint Ventures, and joined by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mumbai Angels and a couple angels from the UK. This space has also seen some M&A activity, as Snapfish.com, a Hewlett & Packard-owned online photo printing site, acquired an Indian online photo printing website MeraSnap.com.