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Indiaplaza raises VC from NEA-IndoUS

Raghuvir Badrinath  |  Chennai/ Bangalore, among the top in India, has raised venture capital funding from NEA-IndoUS, a India-focussed venture capital fund. The company, in which The Indigo Monsoon Group is a majority investor, is understood to have raised $5 million in this round of funding through a fresh issue of equity. management confirmed the deal.

This round of funding comes at a time when the Indian e-commerce sector is growing rapidly and a large number of players are tapping the online route to increase their sales which is attracting more venture funding. Led by the $45 million investment in online travel services firm Yatra Online, the IT & ITeS industry attracted six investments of $20 million or more in the recent past. Late last month Flipkart, another e-retailer based in Bangalore, raised $20 million from Tiger Global. “E-commerce has already crossed the tipping point in the country and we are witnessing a huge growth in the industry. After establishing ourselves, we now expect to pick up a large share of the growing e-commerce pie. Investments in the supply chain and technology will help us grow further,” Binny Bansal, Flipkart COO had noted.

India has been witnessing an active growth in the e-commerce sector, majorly led of by travel booking. According to industry analysts, Amazon is also understood to have firmed up plans for an India site pretty soon.

During early 2007, acquired US-based, among the top e-commerce destinations for Indians in the USA. Post this, the combined entity was operational under Indiaplaza. The Indigo Monsoon Group (IMG) is an investment firm that focuses on early stage Internet, mobile and technology startups either located in India or targeting Indians, was an investor in Indiaplaza and post this takeover, went on to hold a majority stake in the combined firm. Prior to the take over of, was pioneered by two IT honchos from Wipro stables - V S Sudhakar and K Vaitheeswaran., houses around 8 million products, has 1.5 million customers and is looking to scale up to half a million transactions a year during the next year from the present quarter of a million as of now. According to industry information, the gross value of products sold in the marketplace is around $20 million with electronics and books accounting for the majority of this.

The Indian retail e-commerce market is worth around Rs 2,000 crore (excluding the travel booking) and is growing at a rapid pace and was among the early movers in this market.

Even as e-commerce market is on a high growth path, another aspect of m-commerce is also catching on with the penetration of mobile phones on a sharper upward curve than PC penetration in India. Many e-commerce portals and marketplaces are putting in place mechanisms to enable m-commerce with active co-operation from various financial institutions. However, according to industry analysts, the area of concern is security which is among the major hurdles for further growth of this sector.

First Published: Mon, July 11 2011. 00:54 IST