Kribha Handicrafts, an exclusive supplier to online retail portal Craftsvilla.com has raised an undisclosed amount of early stage funding from Nexus Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. A couple of things to note:
– Kribha Handicrafts, not Craftsvilla: It’s worth noting that Kribha Handicrafts, the supplier to Craftsvilla, that has raised the money, and not Craftsvilla itself. Perhaps this is how the investors are trying to bypass the limitations put on e-commerce ventures by India’s multi-brand retail FDI policy, by investing in the supplier company, rather than the front end website. The other route we’ve heard of is investment in the technology company powering the business, like in case of KPCB and Sherpalo Ventures’ investment in Futurebazaar.
– Old hand: Manoj Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Kribha Handicrafts, was previously an associate with Nexus Venture Partners, which the company has raised funding from.
Craftsvilla features artisan-produced apparel, metalware, jewelry and home furnishings. A statement from the company says that the funding will be used to invest in the team, technology, and building the back-end supply chain and sourcing of products. In an interview with StartupCentral earlier in June, Gupta had said that he is targeting a product portfolio of 100,000 products within 12 months, with more than 1000 orders per day by March 2012, and a revenue run-rate of around Rs 30-40 crore per year. Read the interview here. At that time, the company was in talks with Nexus Venture Partners for raising funding.
Other online fashion retailers include Exclusively.in, which has recently switched from a flash sales model, Info Edge backed 99labels, Smile Interactive and Sequoia Capital backed fashionandyou, the India Today group’s bagittoday, little known ThePrivateSales, fetise.com, SAIF Partners backed ZOVI.com, among others.