Exclusive: SeventyMM likely to shut down its operation. More ecommerce casualties to come?

seventymmSeventyMM, the online movie rental business which later diversified into full fledged e-commerce business seems to be shutting down. Two source close to company said NextBigWhat that online retailer is about to close its operation.

We tried to reach Bhavna Agarwal, the newly appointed CEO of SeventyMM, however did not respond to our email, SMS and call. One of the sources said “SeventyMM needs capital to continue its operation, however it has failed to raise another round and hence closing down is the only option.”

The Bangalore based company has raised around $21.4 Million from from NEA-Indo US Ventures, Matrix Partners India, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and ePlanet Ventures. Last month, the company lost its Chief Executive Officer Mudit Khosla to Naspers backed marketplace Tradus.

On condition of anonymity, one of the leading hiring agency based out of Bangalore said “Unlike a year back, currently employees of various ecommerce, usually, which are struggling to raise more $$ s are looking desperately for opportunities, fearing possible shut down and massive layoff.”

The possible shutdown of SeventyMM and Tradus’ acquisition of Buytheprice has not come as shocker as the nascent ecommerce industry has been full of excesses. E Commerce, which once used to be darling of VCs, has been struggling to convince the same venture capitalists for more funds.

Consolidation, Forced & Voluntary

Yesterday, we wrote about the acquisition of Buytheprice by Gurgaon based Tradus. It’s a no brainer that Naspers, which is a common investor in both companies forced the merger. Earlier, Tiger Global forced Letsbuy-Flipkart consolidation followed by Myntra which acquired Exclusively.in backed by the same investors- Accel, Tiger and Helion.

Private label Zovi bought Mumbai based Inkfruit. SAIF partners, a common investor in both companies drove the deal. Though, unlike 2012 which saw investor’s becoming wary of spending on ecommerce space in the midst of regulatory uncertainty and high burn rate at companies, this year has been better for ecommerce so far.

Some differentiated players have been able to raise follow on funding from investors. In last 3 months, the space witnessed four investment deals. Managed marketplace – ShopClues had raised $10 mn. Gurgaon based HealthKart, which sells consumer healthcare goods online raised $14 million. Women focused marketplace – Ladyblush recently raised undisclosed amount.

With positive and negative or right or wrong reasons – ecommerce in India continues to offer fodder for folks like us. The focus has changed, though, earlier it was about raining VCs money, now its about litmus (survival) test.

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