Putting Sequoia back in action in the Indian venture capital scene, Zefo, an online marketplace for refurbished furniture and appliances, has announced that it has raised Rs 40 crore in a fresh round, led by Sequoia Capital.
Along with Sequoia, venture capital fund Beenext, launched by Japanese e-commerce entrepreneur and investor Teruhide Sato, and company’s existing investor Helion Ventures also participated in the round.
As a part of this funding deal, Abheek Anand, Principal at Sequoia Capital India Advisors, has now joined the company’s board. He said,
Zefo’s USP lies in its ability to bring the element of trust, reliability, and convenience in a market where these have been largely ignored.
With the new funding coming in, the company is planning to spend the money for customer acquisition. It is eyeing value conscious online customers.
It is also looking to diversify into new geographies and categories beyond furniture and appliances. It will also spend money by investing in building technology and for hiring talent.
Commenting on this, Rohit Ramasubramanian, co-founder and CEO of Zefo, said,
We are building a one-stop destination for buyers looking for affordable verified goods, with the promise of a buy-back, as well as for sellers who are evaluating liquidating excess inventory or launching exchange programme.
Zefo was founded by Rohit Ramasubramanian, who is a former Helion Venture Capital executive, along with Karan Gupta, Himesh Joshi, and Arjit Gupta. The platform lists furniture and appliances with verified photographs and detailed assessments, along with defects information.
The company procures supplies from marketplaces including Urban Ladder and Flipkart as well as small businesses and consumers. Then, it quality checks every product, disinfects and polishes them to ensure that the products are in usable condition. Hence, buyers can save up to 60% from the price of a new product.
Along with selling used products, the Bangalore-based company also buys back products from its customers at 60-70% of its value if returned in less than a year. Zefo claims to be growing at a rate of 40% every month, selling 400-500 products a day. One of the key ways in which Zefo expects to get inventory is from B2B businesses looking to liquidate inventory.
According to a report by Assocham, used goods worth Rs 1,15,000 crore were disposed of by Indian households in 2015, a significant increase from Rs 80,000 crore in 2014. An ET report suggests that by 2020, e-commerce in itself will be a $120 billion industry, while returns will be close to $24 billion.