Unlike other leading e-commerce firms, ShopClues is a merchant-focussed company that is targeting the tier II, III and IV markets of India. The company was founded in 2011 by Sandeep Agarwal, Radhika Agarwal and Sanjay Sethi.
Agarwal says, “We have always believed that real India lies in the local markets and SMEs and that’s where we need to be. We wanted to build a platform that reflects the Indian-ness of consumers, keeping in mind the typical shopping preference and cultural tastes. Given that, tier II and III markets fit our target description the best.”
Shopclues has raised around $200 million approximately. Their key investors are Helion Venture Partners, GIC Pte ltd, Nexus Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management LLC. The team has been ahead of the curve in terms of figuring out market insights to build sustainable and profitable businesses. Agarwal laughs while sharing one of the craziest stories from her entrepreneurial journey, it was during her first Valentine’s Day, back when they started in 2011, they had orders for 200 bouquets of flowers and the merchant couldn’t deliver. As they were new and worried about the consequences of such an incident, to counter this, they shipped soft toys and chocolate with handwritten notes from the founding team, as an apology from the brand.
(This article was first published in the May issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)