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Goldman Sachs leads $100-mn investment in furniture startup

Largest investment raised by sector-focused e-tail player

T E Narasimhan & Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

Online furniture marketplace has raised $100 million from four investors, including Goldman Sachs and Zodius Technology Fund. Existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments and Norwest Venture Partners have also participated in this round,.

“This is the largest quantum of investment raised by a sector-focused e-commerce player in India,” said the company.

Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Pepperfry for this round of funding.

Pepperfry said it would utilise the money to expand its logistics footprint in Tier-3 and Tier-4 cities. Ambareesh Murty, founder and CEO of Pepperfry, said the company’s logistics network covers 300 cities at the moment. “We plan to add 500 more cities in the tier-III and IV areas.”

The firm will also open new distribution centres and expand its carpenter and assembly service network.

Over the next year, Pepperfry will quadruple its technology and engineering team with a focus on leveraging augmented reality on mobile to further enrich the buying experience. Additionally, Pepperfry will continue to partner and advise consumers as they look to design their home interiors through its team of interior design specialists at the ‘Pepperfry Experience Centres’.

“Through this most recent partnership in, we intend to leverage our global expertise in the sector to help create a large, differentiated leader in India’s rapidly growing e-commerce sector,” said Ankur Sahu, co-head of private equity at Goldman Sachs in Asia.

According to Gautam Patel, managing director of Zodius Technology Fund, Pepperfry represents quality service with world-class sourcing and private label branding. “T V Mohandas Pai and Ranjan Pai have co-invested along with us.”

According to the Pepperfry website, the company was founded in January 2012 and it has 650,000 customers. It offers around 45,000 products across categories such as furniture, home décor, lamps & lighting, bath & body, kitchen, home appliances, housekeeping and pet supplies. The company works with 1,000 merchants across 1,000 cities in India. Its customers are spread across 12 countries, including the US, Russia, Greece and France, according to the company website.

In a recent interview to Outlook Business, Ashish shah, co-founder and chief operating officer of Pepperfry, had said: “By 2020, we want to be a $1-billion firm, up from our current run rate of Rs 350 crore.”

According to Murty, the company is growing at the rate of 300 per cent year-on-year. Pepperfry has got 85,000 stock keeping units across the country and it has raised Rs 178 crore so far.

First Published: Tue, July 28 2015. 00:44 IST