Exclusive: Marketplace for luxury brands vClusive raises funding
vClusive, an omni-channel marketplace for luxury brands, has raised its first external round of funding, the company's founder and CEO told Techcircle.
Vinu Sundaresan said vClusive raised Rs 42.6 crore ($6.3 million) in a round led by venture capital firm Hunch Ventures. A clutch of angel investors also took part in the round.
vClusive, operated by California-based direct marketing company vMobo, will use the capital for technology development. A part of the money will also go toward marketing and branding campaigns.
vMobo rebranded its main product vCloud, a cloud network for multi-brand rewards and privilege programme, into vClusive this year after the acquisition of fintech startup Binge and merger with Mumbai-based styling startup Dapper Don.
Sundaresan said vClusive assists retailers in customer acquisition, retention and engagement. It also helps consumers to access products and brands from any device.
The platform claims to be hosting more than 120 brands and 85,000 users. It ties up with labels such as Montblanc, CafÃ© Noir, Bally, Davidoff, L'Occitane, Ravissant. The network has reported almost $7 million in net sales till date. Sundaresan said the size of the luxury market in the country is estimated to grow to $18 billion by the end of 2016 from $5.7 billion in 2012.
vClusive has presence in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Sundaresan said the firm, which also operates in Dubai, is planning its international expansion during the second quarter of 2017. However, he didn't divulge any details.
Hunch Ventures is a private investment firm floated by Karanpal Singh. Singh was associated with Essential Resources Pvt. Ltd and KJS Concrete before launching this venture last year. The firm primarily targets companies in the technology and education sectors for investment. It normally comes in the angel round and backed entertainment technology platform TalentNext earlier this month.
A few other companies in the broader luxury products marketplace category have raised funding over the past year. In September, Mumbai-based online beauty essentials retailer Nykaa raised $12 million (Rs 82 crore) in a round led by Hero Group's Sunil Munjal. The online marketplace sells luxury products for both women and men.
Last year, Mumbai-based Armoire Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, which runs an online platform for women's luxury wear Envoged.com, raised seed funding.