Exclusive: Indian Gifts Portal raises $2 mn from Karamchand group, others
Indian Gifts Portal (IGP) has raised $2 million in the latest round of funding from the family office of Naveen Arya, one of the three promoters of Karamchand Appliances, and Tarun Joshi, the India director of UK-based private equity firm 3i.
Karamchand Appliances is best known for its mosquito repellent brand All-Out. Arya has invested in his personal capacity.
Joshi, who is the chairman of IGP, has reinvested in the company.
The funds will be used to develop machine learning technology for the company's gift discovery platform indiangiftsportal.com. "We also spent money in building a strong senior management team," Rahul Garg, co-founder told Techcirle.
IndianGifts Portal, run by Intermesh Shopping Network Pvt Ltd, opened its Bengaluru office last year, which is focused on technology and product, and appointed former Rocket Internet India HR head Anbika Wadhwa to lead the firm's HR vertical. It also appointed former director of technology at Zivame, Bhupendra Singh Dhami, as chief technology officer, Neha Agarwal, a former Jabong executive as SEO (search engine optimisation) and content marketing head and Kamal Upadhyay, former Redbus executive, as vice president of product management.
Besides Bengaluru, the firm has offices in Mumbai and Noida, and has four warehouses in Lucknow, Jaipur, Mumbai and Los Angeles, for the US market.
IGP provides gifting options in over 190 product categories, including edibles, perishables, toys and games, apparel and home, among others. "In the logistics part of the business, almost 30-40% of business is for same day delivery or midnight delivery. 80-90% of business goes towards specific day delivery," explains Garg.
Flowers and cakes are top product categories, followed by personalised products and hampers. In six months, it aims to personalise all of its product offerings. The company claims to operate on an inventory-based model but also charges its vendors, for flowers and cakes, a commission. Garg claims the firm has done sales at a run rate of Rs 40- 45 crore in the past 12 months.
"25,000 orders have been delivered in the US in the last five months," said Tarun Joshi, promoter and investor in IGP.
IGP was previously an entity of IndiaMART, an online B2B platform for small and medium sized businesses. In 2012, Joshi bought out the entity and roped in Garg as chief executive in January 2015.
Prior to IGP, Garg founded ArtisanGilt.com, an e-commerce portal for ethnic wear and fashion jewelry in 2012, but due to lack of funds, halted operations in December 2014. Before starting up, he served as an investment analyst at HSBC Securities, Nomura, Lehman Brothers and Bank of America Securities.
An MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Joshi has been with 3i since 2008 and focuses on private equity and infrastructure investments in India. He is also a part of the board of BVG India, a facilities management services business.
Other players in the online gifting space are Giftxoxo, CheersOye!, QwikCilver and ForMyShaadi, to name a few. These players offer not just gifting services but also provide leisure and hobby activities. On Monday, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts picked 12% stake for Rs 3 crore ($450,000) in Bengaluru-based Nreach Online Services Pvt Ltd, which operates online gifting portal Giftxoxo.com. Giftxoxo has over the past few months expanded its services from gifting to activities and hobbies through various acquisitions.
Last month, iPanache Pvt. Ltd, which runs social gifting platform CheersOye! secured angel funding from HNIs. The firm is an app-based social payments and gifting platform and offers users personalised experiences.
Bengaluru-based QwikCilver secured $10 million (Rs 67 crore) led by Sistema Asia Fund with participation from existing investors Amazon Asia-Pacific, Accel India and Helion Venture Partners in July this year. The firm offers gift cards for retailers and corporate customers.
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