HomeShop18, which claims to be the only company in the e-commerce space in India to have FDI approval, has raised $14 million in funding from its existing investors: Korean home shopping major GS Home Shopping (GS) will invest $11 million, wile OCP Asia and Network18 will invest the rest. Keep in mind that this is the second round of fund raising this year from HomeShop18, after it had raised $30 million from OCP Asia and Network18 in April, a round in which GS Home Shopping had not participated.
The transaction values HomeShop18 at $360 Million, while it’s competitor Flipkart, which raised $160 million recently, as a part of a $360 million round, was valued at $1.02 billion by Naspers in August 2012, and now, reportedly much higher. Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon are online marketplaces, where vendors sell products.
What’s interesting is that post this investment, Network18, which incubated Homeshop18, will remain the majority shareholder at 51%. The company had also raised investment from SAIF Partners, who have apparently not participated in this round. There have been reports about Homeshop18’s IPO plans, but its CEO Sundeep Malhotra, had denied having any such plans to us last year.
HomeShop18 claims to have a customer base of 7.5 million users, and a portfolio of over 12 million SKUs, and a logistical reach of 3,000 locations across India.
In May, in a conversation with MediaNama, Homeshop18 CEO and founder Sundeep Malhotra had told MediaNama that the money then had been raised for growing the scale of operation across the business. Some excerpts from our interview with him then: “We’re not just an Internet only company. We’re the only one that has three screens. Behind all of that is a unified back-end in terms of reach, housing, logsitics and infra, and the CRM. That is the reason why it helps us leverage the scale.”
“TV, by function and by virtue, has limited bandwidth in terms of product. The categories are slightly different and limited in numbers. The web has unlimited opportunity, in terms of our capability to showcase products. On TV we handpicked 3000-4000 products every year. On the web, it’s these plus 14 million products.”
“(we) build smart forecasting tools and robust supply chain warehousing and delivery mechanisms. This is the base on which virtual e-tailing works. TV is just the show window of the shop. To make it work, you need the tech back end and infra. It’s also the right path of the business which enables you to scale up. If I keep a book on the website or TV, how would I ever know how much would sell on TV or the web? especially on the web where you don’t have historical data. What kind of inventories will I keep. TV is about impulse, web and Internet is about search. Hence, it is about a long tail of products, and TV is about specific products and propositions to drive impulse. So your product mix is different. In our case, we don’t just have the range and the long tail, we also have our TV products on the internet. No matter what anyone else has, we have our range of products on TV, and in addition we’re the only ones who produce videos on the web. These are new domains for the user on the web.”
Read the entire interview here.