Urban Ladder raises Rs102 crore from four existing investors

The latest round of funding by Kalaari Capital, SAIF Partners, Steadview Capital and Sequoia priced Urban Ladder’s shares at Rs19,167


Urban Ladder counts Pepperfry and FabFurnish among its competitors in the online furniture retail segment. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint
Urban Ladder counts Pepperfry and FabFurnish among its competitors in the online furniture retail segment. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Bengaluru: Online furniture store Urban Ladder Home Décor Solutions Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs102 crore from existing investors at a time when the company is seeking to evolve into a brand and build a strong offline presence through brick and mortar stores, according to documents available with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

Kalaari Capital, which has remained invested in Urban Ladder since August 2012, pooled in Rs30.64 crore, while another early investor, SAIF Partners, invested Rs30.46 crore in this round. Steadview Capital, which has also invested in Flipkart, Quikr and Ola among others, pumped in Rs27.16 crore while Sequoia Capital chipped in with Rs13.58 crore, according to the documents.

Mint reported on 20 January that Urban Ladder was in talks to raise about Rs200 crore—half of which would be pumped in by existing investors.

The value of the company’s shares has increased 26.4% from its last fundraise of $50 million in April 2015, signalling that the days of frothy valuations are over.

Urban Ladder’s shares were priced at Rs19,167 in the current round as against Rs15,160 during its last fundraise.

Urban Ladder declined to comment.

Founded in 2012 by Indian Institute of Management Bangalore alumni Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa, Urban Ladder had raised $77 million in equity funding from Kalaari Capital, Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Steadview Capital, TR Capital and Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata, and $3 million in venture debt from Trifecta Capital.

Urban Ladder has launched a new brand identity and is on course to widen offline distribution channels beyond company-owned centres. It plans to launch at least three experience centres in Bengaluru, and is exploring partnerships with large format retail stores.

Urban Ladder also has its eye on local furniture stores, where it might take the assisted commerce route through kiosks displaying the Urban Ladder catalogue. It will also explore partnerships with paints and white goods appliances brands among others, which may involve cross-selling, Mint reported on 26 October.

ALSO READ | Urban Ladder plans offline push, new brand identity

Goel told Mint in an interview in October that Urban Ladder has trimmed the number of products sold on its platform from about 5,000 a year ago to about 4,000 and aims to prune the list further to about 3,000-3,500 units in another 12 months, a move that he says would give the firm more bandwidth to focus on quality and customer service.

The company has also listed its products on online marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart Ltd, which, industry experts say, signals stunted growth.

According to documents available with the RoC, Urban Ladder posted a threefold increase in losses for the year ended 31 March 2016 on account of higher employee and advertising expenses, while revenue from operations increased about two-and-a-half times.

Revenue from operations for the last fiscal year stood at Rs34.4 crore as against Rs13 crore in the previous fiscal, while losses surged to Rs181.3 crore against Rs58.5 crore a year earlier.

Urban Ladder competes with the Goldman Sachs-backed Pepperfry (Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt. Ltd) and Bessemer Venture Partners and Jungle Ventures-backed Livspace (Home Interior Design E-commerce Pvt. Ltd). Pepperfry, the most well-funded home-grown online furniture start-up with $159 million in funding, posted higher revenues and lower losses than Urban Ladder in 2015-16.

As per documents available with the RoC, the company posted revenue of Rs98 crore last fiscal, a nearly four-fold increase from Rs25 crore in the year-ago period, while losses stood at Rs154 crore, as against Rs80 crore in 2014-15.

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