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Online Private Labels Zovi & Inkfruit Merge; Raise $10Mn Funding

Robemall Apparels Pvt Ltd which operates the online lifestyle apparel and accessory store Zovi.com, has announced its merger with the Mumbai based e-commerce venture Inkfruit.com.This was first reported by Times of India, although NextBigWhat had hinted at the acquisition yesterday.

While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, the company said that Inkfruit’s team including its co-founders, Kashyap Dalal and Navneet Rai, will continue to work with the combined entity, however there is currently no information on what their roles will be in the combined entity.

The company also noted that it will operate out of two centers, Bangalore and Gurgaon with a sourcing and logistics office in Mumbai, although its not clear if the companies will keep both the store fronts or if Inkfruit inventory will be integrated to Zovi. Both the store fronts were live, at the time of writing this article.

New Round of Funding: Along with this merger, the combined entity has raised $10 million funding in its third funding round from existing Zovi investors like SAIF Partners and Tiger Global. Its worth noting that SAIF Partners is also an investor in Inkfruit.com and according to a Times Of India article, both SAIF Partners and Tiger Global had sought this merger to reduce the cash burn.

Zovi had previously raised around $15.5 million, including a $10 million round from Tiger Global and SAIF Partners in June 2012 and a $5.5 million round from SAIF Partners and a group of angel investors including MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra in July 2011. On the other hand, Inkfruit had raised $5 million funding from SAIF partners in 2011.

We believe that both the companies will benefit from each other with this merger. While Inkfruit might benefit from Zovi’s stronger brand name, Zovi might benefit from Inkfruit’s retail presence.

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Other consolidations: We’ve been witnessing a significant number of mergers and acquisitions in ecommerce within the same segment, signifying consolidation within the industry. Interestingly, several of these mergers and acquisitions included a common investor.

In November 2012, Myntra had acquired Exclusively.in and its private label Sher Singh in a cash and equity deal. The company had stated that following the acquisition, the Sher Singh brand of products will be exclusively sold on Myntra.com and shersingh.com, although the SherSingh website was down for maintenance at the time of writing this article. Myntra had stated that Sher Singh’s senior management team along with its employees will be joining Myntra and help strengthen Myntra’s private label portfolio.

In April 2012, Snapdeal.com had acquired Esportsbuy.com, an online retailer of sports and fitness equipment and had shut it down two months after the acquisition. Similarly, Flipkart had also acquired one of its competitors Letsbuy.com in a cash-and-equity deal in February 2012 and had shut it down in May 2012.

Lapis Marketing Pvt Ltd which operates a baby care product company Hushbabies.com had acquired MangoStreet.com in August 2012 and shut it down later while e-commerce venture Fashionandyou.com had acquired online fashion and beauty retailer Urban Touch for $30 million in the same month.

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