Urban Ladder raises another Rs 310 crore in latest round of funding
Urban Ladder is the one of famous online furniture store. Recently they raised $ 50 million which is close to 310 cr fund in latest round of funding which is led by the Sequoia Capital, along with their existing investors Asian private equity fund TR Capital, Steadview Capital, Kalaari Capital, and SAIF Partners.
The 2-year-old company, which is currently valued at nearly $150 million, will be investing the recently raised cash in expanding its product line, technology, data analytics and geographic reach,.
The COO and co-founder of Urban Ladder said that “We understand that furniture is a very high involvement category, so we will focus on personalization, augmented reality and visualization to give our consumers a great experience,”. According to Srivatsa, about half of the company’s traffic comes from mobile phones.
Bengaluru-based Urban Ladder, Launched in 2012, offers furniture online via an inventory-based and controlled supply model while its larger rival Pepperfry follows a wider marketplace model. Pepperfry has so far raised $28 million from Bertelsmann Holdings and Norwest Venture Partners, and another competitor FabFurnish is backed by German incubator Rocket Internet.
Urban Ladder is expected to close financial year 2014-15 with Rs 65.3 crore in sales, incurring a net loss of nearly Rs 40 crore, according to ET. After fashion, electronics and groceries, home furnishing is expected to be a large category in the online market.
Leading e-commerce portals such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal have not been able to enter into the furniture category due to major entry barriers related to shipping and supply chain. Moreover, it is an industry where consumers need to check the exact style, colour and size of furniture before buying, requiring enhanced product presentation with zoom, reviews and ratings.
“We are also looking at taking over a customer’s complete house, from just providing furniture to doing up full spaces (apartments),” added Srivatsa. In this category, Urban Ladder will compete directly with Sequoia-backed Home Lane and Helion Ventures-backed Liv-Space
The management information systems professor at Temple University in the United States Mr. Sunil Wattal said that “E-commerce furniture stores started by known brands and designers can emerge as niche market players while merchants who sell furniture without a strong brand name may team up with leading e-commerce players such as Flipkart and Amazon to drive traffic,” Experts say that the potential for niche furniture sites depends mostly on the key value they bring to their customers.