In an interesting development, Singapore-based Qoo10 has acquired Indian ecommerce company ShopClues in an all-stock deal that values around $70-100 million. Shopclues was valued more than one billion US dollars in 2015 which lost momentum after post one of the founders' arrest and subsequent infighting. Thereafter, a proposal for possible merger with Snapdeal was surfaced by the common investor Nexus Venture Partners which was failed to materlised.
Let’s shed light on the Shopclues journey in the Indian market so far.
Incepted in 2011 Shopclues’s beta was introduced in India via social media with the human recourse strength of 10 members only.
It was 2012, when this ecommerce marketplace raised Series A funding to expand its reach to more than 4000 pin codes. This time, there was more than 5000 sellers who were registered with this ecommerce marketplace.
By 2013, Shopclues had increased its team size from 10 members to 400. This was also the year when Shopclues introduced National Retail Heritage featuring iconic marketplaces of India under the leadership of Sanjay Sethi as the new CEO of the company.
The company introduced its first wholesale marketplace TVC and introduced its window app.
2016 was historic year for the company when it crossed 100 million monthly visits and acquired payment gateway Momoe.
2018 the company started its offline journey by launching its first store in Lucknow. The offline presence was the part of Omnichannel journey. The offline store had also featured exclusive labels from ShopClues like the Homeberry, MEIA, Baton and Digimate.
2019, Shopclues raises 7.86 cr from its parent company.
Shopclues sell under more than nine key categories including fashion, accessories and entry-level phones, refurbished branded mobile phones, our private labels in home, fashion & electronics.
With more than 100 million monthly visits, over 20 million listed products, 6,00,000 + merchants, over 7000 online brand stores, ShopClues services 30,000 pin codes across India.
The company had posted the revenue loss of Rs.208 in the last financial year ended on March 2018. Same year, company’s valuation rose to $1.3 billion with the fundraise from its existing investors. This was also the time was Shopclues was in talks with Snapdeal for possible merger.
Shopclues works like any other marketplace. It’s a B2C platform where they charge nominal selling service fee on each successful transaction, and it does not include any setup cost. In an exclusive interview with Sanjay Sethi in 2018 he had informed, “ For the next couple of years our B2C business will continue to grow about 50% YoY will we will be invest heavily into our cross border, private labels. We will be leveraging our 50 million buyer base to expand our social commerce and consumer affiliate programs. B2b retail will also be a growth driver for the next couple of years.”
Shopclues encourages SMES to leverage online channel to expand the reach of their products. It does not require any technical knowledge to sell products on Shopclues.
In 2017, The Organic World (TOW), sprouted as the green heart of Nimida Group in Bengaluru, sowing the seeds of sustainability to cultivate positive change in our way of life. Founded by Gaurav Manchanda, Director, The Organic World, this unique brand strives to offer a holistic range of organic and natural products. From pesticide-free fruits and vegetables to chemical-free homecare products, TOW provides consumers with over 3000 choices to embrace a healthier, cleaner, and more sustainable lifestyle.
Gaurav, during his return to India from the United States in 2016, identified a gap in the market for healthy and organic food options. Motivated by a personal quest for such products and a desire to offer the same to a wider audience, The Organic World was born in 2017. Starting with the launch of its first store in JP Nagar, Bengaluru, TOW quickly expanded. Today it has 15 stores across Bengaluru, and is exploring the franchise model and the plan is to steadily expand TOW’s footprint across South India.
“Our journey is only getting started. We plan to expand up to 100 stores over the next 18 months, and exploring cities like Chennai, Pune, and more,” he says.
TOW positions itself as a multi-brand retailer, hosting products that are not only organic but also differentiated, providing better value to customers as they journey towards a healthier lifestyle. The stores boasts a comprehensive product range, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, staples, personal care items, and home care products. The presentation of these stores is world-class, ensuring a unique and engaging shopping experience.
Gaurav sheds light on TOW's commitment to responsible retailing, focusing on three core pillars: authenticity, accessibility, and affordability. The company enforces a rigorous vetting process for products, maintaining transparency by publicly listing 25 blacklisted ingredients and chemicals not allowed on their shelves. This disruptive approach challenges the industry to prioritize healthier and sustainable products. TOW has created a strict ‘Not In Our Aisle’ list – a list of chemicals and harmful ingredients that do not find a spot on its store shelves, despite their industry popularity. This includes ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener, found in soda, juice, candy, breakfast cereals and packaged snacks; artificial flavorings/colors found in most packaged foods; Tertiary Butylhydroquinine (TBHQ), an antioxidant found in biscuits, microwave popcorn, butter substitutes and chicken nuggets; parabens, sulfates and phthalates found in personal and beauty care products; and a range of acids and toxins found in home cleaning essentials, to name some.
“When you step into our store, it's an interesting and world-class experience. We strive to be a full basket retailer, so you can complete your shopping journey within our stores. Now we have about 3000 SKUs on our shelves, and we continue to introduce interesting categories and products,” explains Gaurav.
The brand’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its product offerings. It has introduced a zero-waste section in select stores, encouraging customers to bring their own containers for grains and nuts. The company is conscious of consumer preferences, with a dedicated vegan category accounting for a significant portion of sales. TOW's initiatives have not only resonated with environmentally conscious consumers but also positively impacted its revenue.
The Organic World has embraced a tech-driven approach to bridge the online and offline shopping experience seamlessly. Initially partnering with tech enablers, TOW later developed its in-house tech stack, comprising apps, websites, and delivery mechanisms. This move provides the company with more control over data, enabling better insights into consumer behavior.
Acknowledging the challenges in the grocery and organic sector, Gaurav emphasizes the importance of trust in the brand and scale to stay competitive. The company strives to deliver within a two to four-hour time slot, and in a bid to make its last-mile delivery sustainable, TOW is exploring the use of electric vehicles.
In a market flooded with products labeled as organic, The Organic World sets itself apart through a combination of the 3As. The brand's strong category play, especially in emerging trends like veganism, further distinguishes it from competitors. The company's commitment to scale, transparent pricing, and a variety of unique products solidifies its position as a leading player in the organic and healthy foods sector.
“We work closely with farmers and a network of farmers under the brand Happy Harvest Farms. They are certified and organic. Additionally, we do our own checks internally, and based on these checks we believe that we are able to provide an authentic experience to the discerning consumer,” Gaurav asserts.
He is optimistic about the future, fueled by the growing awareness of health-conscious consumers. With plans to expand its store network and franchise model, TOW aims to be a dominant player in the Indian organic market. The brand envisions not only leading in the organic sector but also influencing responsible retailing practices across the broader retail industry.
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