Jabong Raises $27.5 mn Fresh Funding, Sells Logistics Arm JaVAS; 2 Founders Quit

Online fashion and lifestyle retailer, Jabong, has raised Rs 172.67 crores ($27.5 mn) in funding from UK based CDC group. The latest round of funding will be used to improve the supply chain infrastructure of Jabong, said CDC.

The British Development Finance institution also plans on helping the management introduce a new Code of Conduct for suppliers to Jabong. The company is said to be in talks to raise a total of $100 mn.

Even as the news of the funding came in, NextBigWhat has learned that the retailer has sold off its logistics operations arm JaVAS to a local player. JaVAS or Jabong Value Added Services was sold off for an undisclosed amount in 2013.

Gurgaon based QuickDel Logistics seems to have taken over the logistics service that was launched in December 2012. At the time of launch, the company had already signed deals with over ten e-tailers.

NextBigWhat has also learned that Mukul Bafana, co-founder and MD at Jabong has left the Rocket Internet backed company. Last week, co-founder and MD, Manu Jain had also quit from the company.

We spoke to Praveen Sinha, also co-founder and MD at Jabong about the developments

praveen

What is the status of Javas right now? Have you Sold it off? Why?

I don’t think I can comment on buying, selling. Javas was a separate function, team, entity. They have diversified, and their dependency on Jabong has reduced. They were always slightly separate. It is independent right now.

So they are no longer a part of Jabong?

Yes, they are totally independent right now.

When did this happen?

I can’t comment on the date.

Did it happen in 2013, or as early as January this year?

It happened in 2013, I can’t give you specifics.

Is it true that Mukul Bafana has left the company?

That is true. In fact Mukul and Manu left Jabong together. It was a mutual decision. We wanted Mukul to be a part of the company right from the beginning. But he had some other priorities, he wanted to join his family business. He wanted to do things closer to his heart. I’m not the right person to speak about it.

We have heard that the Indian founders had very little to negligible stake in the company, is this true? Can you share some details?

I can’t comment on the equity structure of the company.

How has Jabong’s growth been in 2013?

We reached our first milestone in 2013. We wanted to be number one in fashion and lifestyle products. We have achieved that both in terms or orders and revenue. Fashion became our biggest segment last year.

Can you share some numbers on that? Orders and Revenue?

I will not be able to share that right now, but we will be releasing that soon.

What about your GMV?

We would be the highest in the fashion and lifestyle space right now.

Any plans to start offline stores soon?

I think it’s a good idea, but complex to implement. I would not say we reject it, but it is not an immediate priority. Offline is the first channel, and online is the second. It is not as scalable as online is. Companies usually shift from the first to the second. In the second channel (online) you can expand very fast. But we may try to pilot and refine it (offline stores) at some time. But it is not a priority.

How have your profits been in 2013?

No one is making a profit in e-commerce. All the big players, except for a few, are not profitable yet.

What next for Jabong in 2014?

We want to continue on the path to leadership, we are still very small. Growth remains a high priority. Our main focus will be to build on assortment, especially in the general merchandising categories.

There have also been rumours of Jabong shutting or scaling down, is this true?

That’s not true. In fact we want to scale up.

Are you planning on leaving as well?

No, I’m not planning to leave.

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