Ambareesh Murty’s forthcoming online venture Pepperfry has received $5 million from Norwest Venture Partners. According to a statement from the company, the site will be formally launched by Christmas 2011. This means that the venture has got funding even before the initial launch. It might be more than just co-incidence that Niren Shah, Managing Director at NVP was previously Murty’s colleague at eBay India. Shah was part of the founding management team and was the CFO at Baazee.com, and after it’s acquisition by eBay, served at various positions before leaving the company in 2007. Murty joined eBay India in 2005 as Director, Marketplace Development & User Experience, and was the Country Manager at the company till June 2011. Ashish Shah, the other co-founder & COO of Pepperfry, also had a stint with eBay India.
Pepperfry is headquartered at Mumbai, and will have on ground sourcing and fulfillment operations in Delhi and Jodhpur. The site was shortly online for testing purposes, and we had published our short take on it, following which, it was cloaked. However, Murty had informed us that the site would be launched in a couple of weeks. According to a company statement, the site will offer more than 25,000 products across categories such as Clothing, Furniture & Home Décor, Precious & Fashion Jewellery, Lifestyle Accessories and Personal Care. It appears that the USP of the site, will be the pricing, which the company claims would be ‘pocket friendly’.
As we pointed out in the earlier post, the site would face competition from the likes of youth-centric ecommerce players such as Myntra, Yebhi, Bestylish and others. From the press statement, it’s not totally clear how the company intends to invest the raised amount. Since most of the multi-product e-commerce sites are promoting themselves on mainstream media through TV and Print campaigns, we feel that Pepperfry will also invest in a similar promotional campaign. And we hope it’s as interesting and different as the video placed on the site’s landing page, which justifies the site’s unusual name, juxtaposing it with the example of a Mumbai restaurant, also attempting to establish an emotional connect.