New Delhi: AskMe.com, the online search, listings and deals portal of Getit Infomedia Pvt. Ltd, on Tuesday announced an investment of $20 million in online furniture marketplace MebelKart for a majority stake in the start-up.

The aim is to acquire a significant market share in the fast growing furniture market.

MebelKart will be using this money largely to enter the interior design and modular kitchen business. It will also be investing in technology enhancement such as creating augmented and virtual reality options on its site.

“It is very clear that one of the highest growth category in online space in terms of searches and transaction has been furniture, interior decor, kitchen ware etc.," Manav Sethi, group chief marketing officer at AskMe, said. “From AskMe standpoint, we always had small and medium enterprises across these categories. We realised that we can also look at an asset which had both merchants and technology available on its platform," he said.

“Our aim has always been to be one stop destination for all our customers’ needs across varied categories. This investment will further allow both of us to offer enhanced shopping experience to our existing and potential customers," he added.

“We hope to increase our localization of sellers by building on infrastructure and brand of AskMe," said Nikhil Saraf, chief operating officer, MebelKart.

In May, AskMe had also made an acquisition of online groceries start-up bestatlowest.com.

Sethi said that the company is now looking at big data and analytics space for possible acquisition/investments.

Currently, the Indian online furniture market has start-ups such as Pepperfry and Urban Ladder.

The furniture market in India is worth roughly 50,000 crore a year, though up to 90% of that is unorganized, according Pepperfry.

MebelKart works with close to 1,000 sellers across India and abroad.

MebelKart was started in December 2012 by Rahul Agrawal, Ranjeet Kumar Vimal and Saraf. It currently claims to have 100,000 products from across categories like home furniture, beds, chairs and recliners, interior decor and sports furniture.

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