TrendSutra Platform Services Pvt Ltd, which runs online home products marketplace venture Pepperfry.com, has raised Rs 95 crore ($16 million) in a fresh round of funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), the strategic investment arm of the international media company Bertelsmann in India. Pepperfry’s current investor, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) also participated in this round.
Pepperfry had raised Rs 67 crore from NVP in previous rounds of funding; the total funding it has raised to date is Rs 162 crore.
Started in January 2012 with categories like home, lifestyle, fashion and more, Pepperfry.com now specialises in furniture and home products on its’ managed marketplace platform. It had earlier done away with fashion and accessories’ category.
Pankaj Makkar, managing director of BII, who will also join the board of Pepperfry.com, said, “We are impressed with the strong business foundations on which Pepperfry.com has been built and the leadership position it has attained, especially in the furniture segment. Our thesis is that vertically focused companies like Pepperfry which have built specialised capabilities and a differentiated market offering will serve consumers’ needs for selection and overall experience better.”
BII is the strategic investment arm of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA in India. It focuses on investments in the digital, education, media and services sectors. It focuses on early- and growth-stage investments.
Last year it had invested in Chennai-based India Property Online Pvt Ltd which runs an online platform listing residential properties for buying & selling and run through IndiaProperty.com. Previously it had invested in Authorgen Technologies and its online education service wiziq.com earlier last year.
Bertelsmann is an international media company whose core divisions encompass television (RTL Group), book publishing (Penguin Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), services (Arvato) and printing (Be Printers) in some 50 countries. In 2013, the company’s businesses, with more than 110,000 employees, generated revenues of €16.4 billion.
Ambareesh Murty, founder & CEO of Pepperfry.com, said, “Our vision is to be India’s one-stop shop for furniture and home products and we have focused on leveraging our in-depth category expertise to establish the merchandising and supply chain infrastructure required to fulfil this vision.”
Commenting on the investment, Niren Shah, managing director, NVP India, said, “Pepperfry.com has a strong team with extensive e-commerce and marketplace expertise combined with great execution abilities. In the last two years, the team has revolutionised customers’ access to affordable high quality furniture and home products by connecting buyers in metro and tier II cities to small businesses and manufacturers located in India’s remote furniture hubs.”
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)