#Asia Indian handicraft ecommerce site scores $34m in funding, possible IPO on the way


Photo by Quinn Dombrowski

(Photo by Quinn Dombrowski)

Indian ethnic product ecommerce site Craftsvilla has raised US$34 million in series C funding in a round led by Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Nexus Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, and Apoletto have also contributed to the round.

The announcement marks the latest success in what’s turning out to be a big year for the company. In a series B round of funding in April, Craftsvilla raised US$ 18 million from Sequoia Capital as well as many of the same investors – Lightspeed, GFC, and Nexus Venture – who contributed to this most recent round. Lightspeed and Nexus have been involved with funding Craftsvilla since its seed round in January 2011.

Founded by Manoj and Monica Gupta in 2011, Craftsvilla connects customers with over 25,000 artists and designers across India through its website and mobile app. In April, Monica expressed the site’s plans to grow tenfold by the end of 2015. The latest funding will be used to further enhance Craftsvilla’s site and products, improve customers’ shopping experiences, and reach a goal of US$500 million GMV over the next 12 months. It may possibly go public as well.

Often referred to as the “Etsy of India,” Craftsvilla is similar to Etsy in that it promotes crafts online. However, while Etsy emphasizes crafts overall, Craftsvilla is first and foremost Indian. With the site’s designers and artists often located in remote villages, customers can’t find their products anywhere else. In the past year, Craftsvilla has also worked on streamlining the shopping process. It began working with Mad Street Den’s technology in July to better meet customers’ requests and suggest related items to shoppers browsing the site.

Getting the rural and urban vote


Craftsvilla facilitates both rural and urban participation through its platform, something that even ecommerce giants are trying to improve. With a monster of a Singles Day not even a week behind us and Chinese giant Alibaba boasting US$14.3 billion sales on the day alone, China’s also trying to find a way to involve its non-urban crowd further in ecommerce opportunities, including both buying and selling.

In less than two months, Craftsvilla turns five. With such big goals and continual successes, this startup is definitely one to watch.

What do you think? Can Craftsvilla live up to its goals? Share below.

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