Creating your own brand of products in one category like jewellery or fashion and using the online channel to retail the products

 

Seed investment

Up to Rs.10 crore

 

Market size

ecommerce market size to reach $200 billion by 2020 TECHNOPAK

 

Target customers

Online users; Total number of users transacting online in India to reach 38 million by 2015 AVENDUS CAPITAL

 

How long to earn fi rst reveneus

Product development and pre-launch process: around six months; Revenues from as soon as transactions start. This could be from day of launch of site

 

Ecommerce in India, especially in the multi-brand category, has gone from being the new kid on the block to a crowded industry. However, web-only brands, where a business can create its own brand of products in any category like apparel or jewellery and retail it online, is emerging as the new growth opportunity.

BlueStone launched in August 2011 as a manufacturer and retailer of light precious jewellery like earrings, pendants and rings has raised $5 million (about Rs 27 crore) in funding from Accel Partners, Silicon Valley Bank and serial entrepreneurs Meena and Krishnan Ganesh. CaratLane, Zovi and Freecultur are some of the other internet-only brands. With 38 million Indians expected to transact online by 2015, according to data from Avendus Capital, the promise of ecommerce will lure many aspiring entrepreneurs. But this is a business best run with a clear goal to build a brand in the long run. “The online part is incidental, internet is just the channel used for sales,” says Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, cofounder and CEO of Bluestone which is targeting sales of `80 crore in fiscal year 2014. “Low-hanging fruit might bring in money but might dilute your brand and confuse customers in the long run.”

While BlueStone mainly manufactures its own jewellery, others like fashion brand Zovi outsource their manufacturing. In both models, it is the lower costs associated with building a pure online brand and the quick growth that is attracting entrepreneurs and investors.

 

Top ventures

Bluestone, CaratLane,
Zovi, Freecultr

 

They should cater to an unmet need and use technology for operational and capital efficiencies

PRASHANTH PRAKASH
Partner, Accel Partners