Online Furniture retailing startup urban ladder raised $12 million from Kalaari Capital, SAIF Partners, Sequoia Capital and Steadview Capital.
Two anonymous individuals close to the company shared the information about the company funding. They Urban Ladder will keep trying to lure investors in the company so as to raise more capital for another six months.
“So far external investor appetite hasn’t been great and they haven’t been getting the valuation they’ve been asking for, which is why they had to do an internal bridge round,” one of the anonymous said.
In January of last year, Urban Ladder raised $15 million funding from the same set of investors. They stated that this money would be use to build an omni-channel strategy. They would open branded stores in main market and it would cost between $10-15 million.
In August 2017, they finally got an approval to operate as a chain of the brand’s single retailers. It shifted the company’s business model from a marketplace model to single retailer, where they could pile their own inventory and open more stores.
“The past year has been phenomenal for us at Urban Ladder. Our offline expansion in Bangalore has been extremely well-received by customers for the differentiated furniture-shopping experience” said chief executive officer Ashish Goel.
On Thursday, Urban Ladder released a statement saying they hope developing their offline facilities. They believe this to be the best strategy to generate profits in the financial year 2018-19. Urban Ladder opened four stores in Bengaluru and Pune but foresee opening an addition 15-20 more stores by March 2019.
A report from Mint stated that several specialty e-commerce websites were one after the other opening offline stores in order to stay competitive and boost sales in a market fully dominated by two giants, Amazon and Flipkart. Founded by Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa in 2012, Urban ladder has since raised $103 million in sales.
Like many other specialty ecommerce companies, Urban Ladder saw a huge number of investors flocking to invest in their companies starting end 2015. This afflux of investment enabled the company to cut losses and revise strategy. By the end of financial year 2017, Urban Ladder had soared almost three times above the Rs 95 Crore margin. Net Losses have been marginally cut down to Rs156 Crores in that year, according to filings at the Registrar of Companies.
Rushabh Sanghavi, vice-president, category and sourcing and Nikhil Ramprakast, vice-president for online sales and marketing both left Urban Ladder in April 2017. It was a blow for the company as they were both important figures in the firm having been present since the beginning. Parag Shah, vice-president, fit-outs, urban interiors and alliances, and chief marketing officer Sanjay Gupta also resigned at the start of 2017.
PepperFry is the biggest platform in the online furniture platform. The company is backed by Goldman Sachs, Norwest Venture Partners and Bertelsmann India. They reported sales of up to 128 crores in the last financial year.