Mumbai-based Pipa Bella Accessories Pvt Ltd, the company behind private label non-precious jewellery e-tailer Pipa + Bella, has secured $600,000 (Rs 3.8 crore) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Singapore-headquartered LionRock Capital.
Japanese investor Teruhide Sato, founder of Netprice (now Beenos) and serial angel investor Roopa Nath also participated in this round of funding, as per a press statement.
The company will use the money to expand its current product offerings, add new marketing channels, make key management hires and build a stronger technology platform. It also plans to build a mobile app within three months.
“We aim to be the Yepme or Zovi equivalent for fashion jewellery,” said Shuchi Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Pipa + Bella.
“Even as the market for gold is drying up in the country, there is tremendous demand for fashion jewellery in the Rs 300 to Rs 3,000 range,” she added.
Founded in 2012, Pipa + Bella competes with the likes of Voylla, Crunchy Fashion, Juvalia & You, besides horizontal e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Flipkart which also deal with fashion jewellery and accessories. Pipa + Bella follows an inventory-based model for fashion jewellery. It adds 100 new styles every week. “We do not restock unless an item is a bestseller,” claimed Pandya, an MBA from The Wharton School, who has over 10 years of experience in jewellery manufacturing and design.
The demand for fashion jewellery has grown significantly in the last few years due to high prices of gold and silver. The company estimates that fashion jewellery will be a $6 billion market by 2018.
“Since we have launched our e-commerce store, we have seen a 300 per cent increase in sales and a high repeat purchase rate with 42 per cent of our customers purchasing again within 60 days,” said Pandya.
Prior to launching Pipa + Bella, she founded Blue Banyan, which designed and manufactured silver jewellery merged with indigenous materials and rare jewels by rural artisans.
Pipa + Bella counts GSF founder Rajesh Sawhney and e-commerce consultant Sujal Shah as advisers.
LionRock Capital is a family investment office based in Singapore. In January, it participated in a $11 million fundraising round at Hopscotch, an e-commerce portal selling merchandise for babies and kids in India.
Sato has become one of the most active foreign angel investors in Indian tech ventures. He has invested in fashion apparels offline deals discovery app Shopsity, digital medical journal Daily Rounds and messaging app connecting local businesses Lookup, since January this year.