In its seventh deal in the Indian e-commerce sector in the last 12 months, New York-based hedge fund Tiger Global Management LLC has infused $6 million in Caratlane Trading Pvt Ltd, which runs the online diamond and diamond jewellery portal CaratLane.com.
CaratLane has been founded by Srinivasa Gopalan (an IT entrepreneur who was the founder and CEO of Lister Technologies) and Mithun Sacheti (scion of Jaipur Gems, which has stores in Mumbai, Chennai and Coimbatore).
CaratLane, which says its revenues are increasing 300 per cent year on year, is targeting an annualised run rate of $30 million by March, 2012. The company will use this round of funding to consolidate its position in the online diamond jewellery space and to develop a larger national and international footprint for itself.
Incidentally, CaratLane has been rated as one of the top 20 e-commerce start-ups in India by a Data Quest study in January, 2011. The Chennai-based firm says that on an average, it has been selling 15 solitaires a day and its pricing is up to 25 per cent lower than the retail chains across the country. The average ticket size of transactions on CaratLane is Rs 80,000.
“E-commerce industry is set to boom in India, and we were among the few to have foreseen the market and started CaratLane in 2008. This inflow of funds will be used to strengthen our backend operations and augment our customer base through enhanced reach, owing to a refreshed approach to our marketing and brand-building effort,” said Mithun Sacheti, CEO of CaratLane.
India’s e-commerce market is expected to surge 47 per cent to Rs. 46,000 crore (around $10 billion) this year, according to estimates by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. And Tiger Global seems to be betting big on this.
Since June, 2010, the investment firm has participated in two rounds of funding for Flipkart.com (which raised a combined $30 million), and invested in online fashion flash sales site Exclusively.in, babycare products retailer Babyoye.com, clothing and footwear merchandise retailer Myntra.com and electronics retailer Letsbuy.com.