Why Yebhi.com Won't E-tail Books; Eyes Acquisitions Of Smaller E-com Firms

17 Apr, 2012

Here's an e-com firm which doesn't want to sell books. Yes, you read that right. Yebhi.com (part of Shop Online Trading Pvt Ltd), an e-commerce store that rebranded from Bigshoebazaar and expanded into other lifestyle categories, has expanded its products basket further as it has recently forayed into home & kitchen ware and lingerie. We caught up with Yebhi founder Manmohan Agarwal to check which other categories interest him and to get an update on a pending fundraising plan.

Agarwal told Techcircle.in that the idea is to create an online shopping destination for the entire family. "Introducing new categories is a significant move to get into the domestic consumption space as we aim to become a one-stop destination for everybody in the family." Then he surprised us by saying that books (yes, the key product which led to the foundation of Amazon and our very own Flipkart) is not under his radar. "Yebhi wouldn't get into books as 99.5 per cent Indians don't read them. By getting into that category, we won't be able to cater to the masses," he said.

According to him, this year, Yebhi will focus on consolidating the existing categories and go deeper into those. "Yebhi may also look at categories like babycare in the near future," added Agarwal. Although Yebhi has now moved beyond shoes, footwear still constitutes almost one-third of all the products sold.

With nearly 30,000 SKUs, Yebhi's average basket size is around Rs 1,200 and it currently ships around 8,000-10,000 products on a daily basis. This translates into around Rs 1 crore in gross revenues per day or Rs 30 crore per month.

Yebhi is also in talks with some companies for acquisition. "We are in early-stage discussions with some smaller companies pertaining to our domain and segment interest," said Agarwal.

But how will the company fund it? After all, its proposed series C round of funding has been reportedly delayed. Agarwal declined to comment on the reason behind the delay but said, "We are now in final talks and in the next month or two, we will raise a significant round."

"The fund will be used to build a strong back-end and supply chain technology. We would also like to invest a bit on building the organisation, marketing and hiring talents. Right now, Yebhi has a 1,300-strong workforce and we intend to take it to 2,500-3,000 by the end of 2012," added Agarwal.

Till date, the company has raised series A funding of $2.2 million from Nexus Venture Partners and a series B round of $9 million from Nexus Venture Partners and Catamaran.