Mumbai: Voylla.com, a jewellery and accessories shopping website run by Bangalore-based Voylla Retail Pvt. Ltd, has raised an undisclosed sum from an angel investor.
Voylla declined to reveal the deal terms, only saying it had raised a seven-digit figure in rupee terms and that the investor was a Bangalore-based serial entrepreneur who recently sold his company.
An angel investor is typically a wealthy individual who funds start-ups with money from his personal wealth.
Voylla said it will use the money to expand its operations team as well as for marketing the shopping portal. Voylla.com sells semi-precious, precious metal and gem stone jewellery as well as accessories for women.
“When we started we were offering both apparel and jewellery but we later found that demand for jewellery and accessories was very high. We have now completely pivoted from apparel,” said Vishwas Shringi, chief executive and co-founder of Voylla.com.
About 70% of the company’s revenues are generated from jewellery and 30% from accessories. The average order ticket at Voylla is Rs. 1,100, Shringi said.
Earlier this year, another online jewellery portal Bluestone.com raised $5 million from venture capital firm Accel Partners and serial entrepreneur Meena Ganesh, chief executive and managing director of Pearson Education Services. Last year, Chennai-based Caratlane Trading Pvt. Ltd, which runs diamond and jewellery portal CaratLane.com, raised $6 million from Tiger Global Management Llc.
The number of Internet users in the country have crossed 100 million and this includes 17 million people who shop online, according to Internet and Mobile Association of India. The trade body estimates that the number of Internet users in India will triple by 2015, as will the number of online shoppers.
Experts say that with more customers buying even expensive products online, jewellery can emerge as a scalable category, particularly as more designs are made available at a wide price range.
“Even is traditional jewellery shopping, buyers’ end up trusting what the goldsmith says. In the case of online jewellery portals, the ornaments come with a guarantee card,” said Anil Joshi, vice president at Mumbai Angels, a grouping on angel investors.
Voylla’s diamond range is certified by Diamond Trade India and starts at Rs. 820.
Joshi added that the top online jewellery stores could consider selling their shares to the public while the smaller ones could seek to be bought by larger ecommerce companies.
On the overall ecommerce investment market, Deepak Srinath, director at Bangalore-based boutique investment bank Viedea Capital Advisors (P) Ltd, said companies in the sector are finding it difficult to raise more funds.
“Companies are burning cash, brand loyalty by customers does not exist. It’s gloom and doom in ecommerce right now and funding activity is almost zero,” said Srinath.
In the first six months of this year, India’s ecommerce sector saw 27 deals valued at $103.6 million while in the same period last year there were 18 deals valued at $177.83 million. The entire 2011 calendar year saw 38 deals worth $392 million in the sector, according to VCCEdge, which tracks PE and VC activity.