Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s foray into the mobile space with Viaan mobile phones will hit the market in a couple of weeks and will be exclusively showcased on ShopClues.
The company, an online marketplace dedicated to the middle class, which raised around $100 million in the latest round and entered the coveted Unicorn club, has had a few leading brands that make products exclusively for Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns to be sold on the platform.
The capital raised will be used to focus on building and rolling out new products to enable the SME (small and medium enterprises) merchants to digitize their business and to further entrench itself as the e-commerce operating system on the cloud.
The company said it is not profitable yet, but looking at becoming profitable in the first half of 2017. “We are the only e-commerce player who has worked on scale and profitability. Though right now 10 percent product are developed exclusively for Shop Clues. By end of 2016, we expect 15-20 percent orders to be made exclusively for our platform,” said Radhika Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer.
In October 2011, the Gurgaon-based company was founded Sandeep Aggarwal, Radhika Aggarwal, Sanjay Sethi, Mrinal Chatterjee and Devesh Rai who lived in the US then. The idea took shape in Sandeep Aggarwal’s mind on a trip to India when he noticed that the consumer interactions on the internet did not mirror with what was happening offline.
Aggarwal is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and renowned wall-street analyst who bootstrapped the company with his own funds and angel money that he raised from his friends and family till he first received institutional funding to the tune of $4 million in January 2012.
The idea enthused his wife Radhika, who was working in the retail sector, and their friends too, who then moved to India with family and set up home in Delhi.
Most of the co-founders have left ShopClues. Sanjay Sethi, co-founder, is the CEO and Radhika is the Chief Business Officer.
ShopClues’ GMV has grown over 4 times since January 2015, and the business is shipping out over 3.5 million items on a monthly basis, attracting a traffic of more than 100 million visits a month.The company sells 3.5 million products on a monthly basis.
“Our customers are not brand-driven but value-driven. We are in the price point play,” says Aggarwal. She added, “You may get an iPhone at a cheap price on Shopclues but that is not the market we are catering to. Our focus is the mass market in India. We are very close to Walmart in the US.”
Aggarwal claims that their target audience are those who will go to the local kirana to shop for their daily requirements and trudge to the mall once a month or so. “We wanted to be a horizontal player. We have 350,000 SMEs on our site which we expect to go up to 700,000 by end of 2016.”
The biggest change, says Aggarwal, was when the company was planning to raise funds. "Earlier, we would be asked questions that tried to understand if the money to be raised would be burnt. However, now we feel that ShopClues is understood as a frugal company with capital efficiency in the ecosystem. This is reflected in our investors who want to know about profitability. That is a huge change in perception that we have built over the years," says Aggarwal.
Around 60 percent of the company’s orders come for Home and Kitchen; and Fashion categories. The average selling price on the platform is Rs 1,100. The largest sold item on the platform are screwdriver sets at Rs 99 and onion and garlic chopper. The company has sold a million units of the chopper in the last two months, says Aggarwal.