Ecommerce marketplace ShopClues has launched a financing platform for its vendors called Capital Wings, in order to help them raise funds to expand their business online. The company has partnered with digital SME finance company Capital Float to offer working capital loans to small and medium businesses at low interest rates and without any collateral. ShopClues also mentioned that its in talks with nationalised banks and NBFCs for Capital Wings.

Merchants can apply for loans through the vendor dashboard by clicking on the merchant financing section. After the online application, on the basis of the merchant’s past performance and his rating on ShopClues, the merchant will be eligible for the loan amount which the company claims will be processed in a week.

ShopClues two primary competitors, Snapdeal and Flipkart already offer similar services to its merchant base. Interestingly, both Snapdeal and Flipkart had also tied-up with Capital Float to provides its sellers easy access to loans. Flipkart had also tied up with Lendingkart. Snapdeal had recently claimed that it has helped over 150 sellers on its platform raise a total of over Rs 50 crore through its Capital Assist initiative. Amazon had also started a similar program called Amazon Lending back in 2012. However, it isn’t clear if this service is available to sellers in India or not.

ShopClues funding: Earlier this year, Gurgaon-based ShopClues raised $100 million investment led by Tiger Global with participation from existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. The company had said the funds will be used to strengthen their technology and marketing.The company, in 2013, raised Rs 54 crore ($10 million) from Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Partners and CEO Teruhide Sato, in a bid to expand to more cities across India. In 2012, it raised $4 million in Series A funding from an undisclosed investor. ShopClues claims to have over 1.5 lakh merchants on board and 1.9 crore listed products on its platform.

ShopClues’ other developments, issues

  • Shopclues, in early this year, slapped with a legal notice from audio devices manufacturer Harman International for selling fake and counterfeit products from various vendors on its website.
  • In late last year, the company tied up with India Post for deliveries.
  • It introduced, in early 2014, a new spiritual and divinity category, which will offer festival puja items, vaastu & FengShui products, Zodiac sign jewellery, gemstones and rudrakshas among others.
  • The FBI arrested the then CEO Sandeep Aggarwal for insider trading charges. Thereafter, he released on a bond and that charges contained in the complaint were just accusations and the defendant presumed unless and until proven guilty.