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IndianRoots ties up with Banka Silk; offline expansion planned worldwide


NDTV’s ecommerce platform IndianRoots has partnered with Banka Silk, a handloom brand from Bihar to sell products made by local artisans of Banka district in Bihar on its platform. The tie up will help in the distribution of the Banka products worldwide.

$5 million funding: The company has plans to expand by opening offline centres in India as well as worldwide. In May, the company had raised $5 million funding from KJS Group. The company claimed that following this round of funding, IndianRoots was valued at $85 million. It said that it would use the funds to scale up the platform’s logistics and delivery mechanisms and marketing activities. Last year, NDTV had mentioned that the company had spent an incubation cost of Rs 25 crore on the venture and was apparently in talks to raise capital through private placement.

Global user base: The Gurgaon based IndianRoots, which was launched two years ago, claims to have traffic from over 150 countries. At the time of its launch, the platform offered ethnic wear from 80 designers and 300 brands which included Anita Dongre, Krsna Mehta, Karieshma Sarnaa and Malini Ramani. As of now, IndianRoots claims to have collections from over a 100 designers and over 700 brands. It ships globally and has support for its operations in Canada, the US, UK and Australia along with India.

Users can pay through credit card, debit card, PayPal or PayU. The company does not yet support cash on delivery and does not deliver to PO boxes or drop boxes currently. It offers Indian products such as sarees, salwar kameezes, lehengas, burkas, accesories and western wear for women and for men, it has accessories, jackets, kurta pyjamas, sherwanis, dhotis, formal and informal shirts. It also has footwear, home decoration and stationery.

Financials: Before launching IndianRoots, NDTV Ethic Retail had acquired 100% stake in a relatively unknown company called JA Ethnic Retail in February 2013. It reported revenues of Rs 6.80 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, as compared to revenues of Rs 3.50 crore in the same quarter last year and Rs 6.06 crore revenues in the previous quarter. The segment has posted a loss before tax of Rs 9.99 crore for the quarter, significantly higher than the Rs 5.25 crore loss in the same quarter last year and the Rs 6.02 crore loss in the previous quarter.

The company has reported Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of Rs 26 crore for the quarter, down marginally from Rs 29 crore GMV in the previous quarter. The company has also mentioned that Average Order Value for FY15 was Rs 17,000, as compared to Rs 9,000 in FY14.

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India overtakes US as primary market: NDTV had invested Rs 18 crore in the website previously and mentioned that it would be looking to raise capital for the platform through private placement. As of August last year, the company said that the US was NDTV’s largest market, followed by India and that India accounted only for 30% of the website’s traffic. However, the company claims that currently, over 65% of its orders come from India.

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