I dive deep into what makes a business successful, an entrepreneur worth millions of dollars and an investor write a cheque. Perched on my small post in Mumbai, I write mainly on entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, venture capital and private equity investors and unlisted firms. While following the world of business for Forbes India as Editor, Enterprise, I intend to use this space to share observations from the other side of the entrepreneurial world, where disruption, gumption and courage can take one a long way.
Furniture and home products marketplace Pepperfry.com has raised $15 Million in a fresh round of funding led by Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), the strategic investment arm of the international media company Bertelsmann. Pepperfry’s current investors, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) also participated in this round. Pepperfry had earlier raised $13 Million from NVP in various rounds.
The investment in Pepperfry comes a few days after country’s largest online retailer Flipkart acquired fashion e-tailer Myntra.com in a dea pegged to be about $300 million to $330 million. Yesterday, Flipkart said it raised $210 million from Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s fund DST Global.
Pepperfry started operations in January 2012, and its online marketplace platform has over a thousand merchants offering furniture and home products. It offers more than 50,000 items for sale across furniture, home décor, kitchen, dining and other home product categories. It is one of the few ecommerce companies in India to send products overseas and customers from 12 countries (USA, Russia, Greece and France, etc) have bought stuff for their homes on Pepperfry.
“Our vision is to be India’s one stop shop for furniture and home products and we have focused on leveraging our in-depth category expertise to establish the merchandising and supply chain infrastructure required to fulfill this vision,” said Ambareesh Murty, founder and chief executive of Pepperfry.com.
Bertelsmann India Investments (BII) is the strategic investment arm of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA in India and focuses on investments in the digital, education, media and services sectors.
“Vertically focused companies like Pepperfry, who have built specialized capabilities and a differentiated market offering, will serve consumers’ needs for selection and overall experience better. We are excited to partner with Pepperfry.com on this journey,” said Pankaj Makkar, managing director of Bertelsmann India Investments.
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a global, multi-stage venture and growth equity investment firm and manages over $5 billion in capital. The Palo Alto, California headquartered, NVP has funded more than 550 companies and has subsidiaries in Mumbai, Bengaluru (India) and Herzelia (Israel). NVP makes early to late-stage venture and growth equity investments across a wide range of sectors including technology, information services, business services, financial services, consumer products/services and healthcare.
“In the last two years, the team has revolutionized customers’ access to affordable high quality furniture and home products by connecting buyers in Metro and Tier 2 cities to small businesses and manufacturers located in India’s remote furniture hubs,” said Niren Shah, managing director, Norwest Venture Partners India (NVP India).