Baby products focused e-commerce venture Hushbabies.com is shutting down its operations, reports TechCircle. Hushbabies co-founder and business head Praveena Dhinakar has confirmed this shutdown to the publication and said almost the entire team of Hushbabies including Dhinakar and other co-founder Vidyasagar Kris were asked to leave by the company board.
Dhinakar attributed this shutdown to Hushbabies’ sluggish growth and its inability to raise further capital. Hushbabies had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from IndoUS Venture Partners (now Kalaari Capital) in June 2012. It had also secured a seed round funding from IndoUS Ventures Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, but Nexus Venture Partners had exited during the Series A round, after selling its stake to IndoUS Venture Partners.
This shutdown follows a BusinessWorld report last week which had cited an unnamed senior company executive to say that the company was shutting down and is currently in the process of refunding orders from its customers. It also noted that HushBabies CEO Sridhar Seshadri had exited from the venture last month, after a brief seven month stint at the company.
Following this shutdown, Dhinakar said Lapis Marketing Pvt Ltd which operated Hushbabies, will now be focusing on its other venture BabyBox.in, which the company had acquired from Snapdeal’s owner Jasper last year. The venture will continue to be headed by BabyBox founder director Deepak Verma.
BabyBox is a consumer marketing venture which, on the face of it, is an online parenting site which aims to provide expert advice to potential and expecting parents on pregnancy and baby care, but also operated an offline advertising and sampling program for baby products. It claims to have tie-ups with 5,000 hospitals across 40 cities in India and claims to reach out to 1 lakh new parents every month through its offline sampling platform. Interestingly though, the website is password protected at the time of writing this article.
This move, in a sense, is an acknowledgement of the extremely tough environment in which e-commerce in India is currently operating, with companies unable to raise funds due to FDI regulations in the country and existing investors playing it safe by investing in firmly established players like Flipkart and Snapdeal who have raised substantial funding recently. Adding to this is Amazon’s entry to India and its continued aggressive rollout in the country in the past few months.
– Hushbabies.com Acquires Kidswear eShop MangoStreet.com; To Shut It Down
– The Ambiguity In Government’s Stance About FDI In E-Commerce Policy
– BabyOye Acquires Hoopos; Raises $12M From Helion Venture Partners