Tele-shopping in an era of e-commerce ? Sounds ludicrous ? Well, looks like Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co. have a different perspective on that. As a result, the business house has now infused a staggering $21.4 Million into Tele-commerce (and now E-commerce) platform Naaptol, in a Series C round.
Existing investors of the company – New Enterprise Associates, Canaan Partners and Silicon Valley Bank also participated in this new round of funding. With the newly raised funds, the company is planning to expand its business to other avenues.
While initially known for its Tele shopping platform (which it still has), Naaptol has come a long way by changing its model to that of a comparison based social shopping portal. Naaptol says,
We sell with a difference.
Every day, we connect you to millions of sellers, products and buyers in a segregated and clutter free environment that helps you decide easy. When the decision is made, buying automatically follows.
The financial details of the current round have not yet been revealed, but it is believed that Manu Agarwal’s stock in the company has been diluted by single digit percentage.
Naaptol was founded in 2008 by Manu Agarwal. Till now, the company had raised a decent $54.9 million in three funding rounds from four different investors.
Manu Agarwal, CEO and Founder of Naaptol, said,
We are already in 24/7 format across languages, and in this fiscal, we hope to be the largest home shopping network in India. Automation of our supply chain is also right on top of our agenda. We will be focusing on doing more creatives across more products.
For Fiscal 2016, the company is targeting net revenue of Rs. 530 crore which is 54% increase compared to its performance in 2014-2015. About 85% revenue of the company comes via television.
While Tele-shopping never really became a trend in Indian shopping scene, a few established players, including Naaptol, are still faring decently. In the market of television shopping channel though, Naaptol competes with HomeShop18, India’s biggest tele-shopping channel owned by Reliance and StarCJ.