Singapore-based early stage fund CCube Angels has invested an undisclosed amount in Omnipresent Retail Pvt Ltd, owner of online shopping portal edabba, to increase its stake in the company to 25 per cent, a top executive of edabba informed VCCircle.
Previously, CCube Angels had invested $600,000 in the company in September last year.
The new funds will be invested in setting up trust points (kiosks) in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Presently, edabba has about 700 trust points across Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan, through which it sells products from about 250 brands including its private label diamond jewellery brand Saashi.
“We plan to have over 5,000 trust points across India with a sales turnover of over Rs 500 crore in next three years,” said Manoj Kumar, co-founder and CEO of edabba.
Last month, the portal had secured $7 million from ad-for-equity media investor Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL), the parent of publications such as The Times of India. Prior to that, it had bagged $1 million from a consortium of investors, including Four-S Services’ founder and CEO Satyendra Shukla in April 2012.
The company was founded in October 2011 by Kumar and Saurabh B Chadha (COO). An IIM Lucknow alumnus, Kumar earlier worked at companies like Future Group, Spencer’s Retail and BPL. His partner Chadha holds a PG Diploma in Rural Management from Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) and had also worked with Future Group and Spencer’s Retail.
The startup aims to bring e-tailing to the untapped market of B and C class cities with the help of a hybrid model of ‘brick & click’. For the same, in addition to the e-com site, the company has partnered with various offline retailers and is using their infrastructure and reach to sell its products and services. It offers products like jewellery, sunglasses, silver & gold coins, personal care & beauty products, music & movies, phones, cameras and computers.
While the e-com part functions similar to any other site, in the offline world, customers can go to trust points, and the attendant present will help them look for products they want and place an order on their behalf. The customer makes the payment to the attendant and the product is shipped to either the buyer’s address or to that particular shop.
The firm recently launched ‘edabba unplugged’, which are basically mobile franchisees that enable consumers to purchase items and transact online via tablets carried by entrepreneurs, students and housewives. It is also planning to start its first ad campaign in Goa this month.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)