Bangalore-based TPS Shopping Outlet Pvt Ltd has raised $5 million from a private Indian company.
This is the online fashion flash sales site’s first round of funding and was completed earlier this month. TPS was set up in June, 2010, by brothers Sunder and Sajan Gianchandani as a flash sales website offering high-end products by Indian and global fashion labels.
“Our goal is to bring high fashion brands to India and offer our customers a good online experience. We will invest to consolidate our business, ensure growth and enhance relationships with international brands,” Sajan Gianchandani told Techcircle.in.
On why the company raised funds from a company rather than a VC, Gianchandani said, “We were more comfortable selecting a company as it is less focused on mid-term investment and opts for a more long-term approach. It is not a common incidence but we have made the choice, considering the future.” No management changes have taken place and there have been no additions to the board of directors.
The funds will be used to add more brands to the firm’s inventory. Currently, TPS has 200 brands and expects this to go up to 800 brands in the next two years. Brands like Versace, Hush Puppies, Eternelle, Alice and Anya, Moschino-Ferre and Marion Roth are already featured on the site. Categorised by brands, the items on sale keep changing every few days. The concept of flash sales is all about quickly selling end-of-line, surplus and clearance items by brands on discounts that may go up to 80 per cent. The site also showcases the products using audio-visuals, flash and animation techniques.
TPS: The Success Saga
TPS has 4 lakh registered members already. In comparison, rival fashion site 99Labels.com has 5 lakh registered members and is currently recording 300-600 orders on a daily basis. (Read our interview of Ishita Swarup, CEO of 99Labels, on Techcircle.in, where she details her plans for the site.)
Traffic to the portal has been rising fast, although it fell in January and February this year. However, it has increased again, according to Gianchandani. Currently, the site gets an average of 45,000 unique visitors per day. TPS claims that it is growing at 50 per cent to 70 per cent on a monthly basis.
Buyers targeted by sites like TPS are those with above-average income, education and employment. As it is a private, members-only site, users have to be invited to join its ranks. “Customer satisfaction is important and we will leverage viral marketing to attract users,” he said. According to him, 32 per cent of registered members are repeat customers.
TPS employs 45 people at its Bangalore headquarters and expects to reach 300 in the next three years. It will also open its second office in Mumbai this year.
Marketing is a high priority for TPS, which started early by providing Hasleen Kaur, the current Miss India, with all her costumes for the prestigious contest. Now, Kaur is the company’s ambassador and will walk the ramp at a fashion show being held by TPS in UB City in Bangalore on June 5.
“Our ad spend will now increase to Rs 1 crore per month,” said Gianchandani. The company also plans to add more offline fashion shows in the future.
Other similar sites to ThePrivateSales.com and 99Labels.com include Bagittoday by the India Today group, Fashionandyou.com by Smile Group, and Exclusively.in & Brandmile.com by Mumbai-based Kenthill Marketing Pvt Ltd.
On how the company will seek to differentiate itself from these sites, Gianchandani said, “I think our USP lies in the fact that we come from the fashion background while others are from a marketing background. We have an advantage there but we are still a small company and have to grow. Today, our biggest challenge is to keep doing what we are doing and not to be disturbed by money matters or market competition.”