Juvalia & You, a private label e-commerce portal selling fashion jewellery, has been recently launched in India. Incubated by Springstar GmbH, a global incubator formed in collaboration with Harish Bahl of Smile Group, Oliver Jung of Airbnb and Klaus Hommels of Hommels Holding, Juvalia is also operating in Germany, Brazil and Russia.
The India edition is run by Delhi-based Juvalia Marketing Pvt Ltd and headed by Chaitanya Aggarwal, an MBA from Columbia Business School. He had previously worked as a research associate with Citadel Investment Group.
Although the venture has been backed by the three investors of Springstar â€“ Bahl, Jung and Hommels â€“ details of the funding could not be immediately ascertained. Refusing to quote the exact amount, Juvalia's India head Aggarwal said, "We have received a significant and comprehensive seed round. Juvalia & You stands much ahead of the other Smile Group ventures in terms of initial investment."
The portal is still in beta stage and is expected to be formally launched by the end of this month. The site also allows its members to register as 'stylist' and sell products either through referrals or through social sales pitch for earning commission. The registered members, in turn, can appoint subsequent sellers.
But what does the company mean by social selling?
"Here one can book a 'style show' and Juvalia will provide the jewellery you require," explained Aggarwal. "This will lead to social community marketing while we capitalise on word-of-mouth promotion and referral-based sales," he added.
The company is currently sourcing its products from India and China. "But we are also eyeing some South-east Asian countries, as well as Europe, to source some specific products in the near future," said Aggarwal.
Although in the beta phase, Juvalia has already some transactions and Aggarwal seemed quite upbeat about it. "The response has been fantastic â€“ both online and offline â€“ even without any media spend. The only promotion has been through word of mouth."
Juvalia also intends to foray into the fashion accessories segment like bags and belts. "We feel it will be a natural extension of our products and there will be some constant additions to scale up the business," said Aggarwal.
Currently a team of 50, the company intends to scale up its India team to 250 by the end of 2012. It has close to 250 SKUs right now and is keen to double the number in the coming months. "But before that, we need to figure out what's working out and what's not, and must have a fair understanding about the customers' likings."
In spite of its global reach, the new site is bound to face competition from other lifestyle and fashion portals like Fashionandyou, 99labels, Donebynone, Zovi, Pepperfry and Freecultr. However, portals like Jewelskart, Caratlane and Bluestone won't fall into that category as they are exclusively dealing in precious and branded jewellery. "We have a different set of customers who are young and vibrant. Buyers coming to our site will have a different mindset and objective," said Aggarwal.