Urban Ladder Now Lets Women Employees Avail 6 Months Of Maternity Leave

Urban Ladder has announced twenty-six weeks (six months) of maternity leave, from thirteen weeks, for its full-time women employees.

Additionally, employees have the option to avail additional three months of part-time work (Five hours) at an equivalent pay basis or additional three months of unpaid leave.

Effective April 1st, 2016, these benefits will also apply to cases of adoption and surrogacy.

The company added over 60% of their workforce in the last one year.

Roles of women at Urban Ladder range from design, technology, marketing, sourcing, customer service among many others.

 “We have a healthy female to male diversity ratio of 38:62 and we believe this is a key catalyst to our business performance. We’ve noticed that career progression of many female employees coincides at the time when they decide to start families. Some of them decide to stop working leading to a leaky pipeline of high potential women at the middle of the pyramid. Revising the maternity leave policy is the first step towards ensuring we give them the required support they need to pursue their career goals while raising a family,” said Geetika Metha, Vice-president – HR, Urban Ladder.

UrbanLadder Hits A Six With Its April Fool Joke [Senior Mattress Tester]

Last week, UrbanLadder ran a LinkedIn job which stated that the company is looking for Sr. Mattress Tester (take a look at the JD below).


On a typical day, you’ll need to sleep on various Urban Ladder mattresses to check for comfort and ease. Each mattress will need to be tested under different conditions, such as after consuming coffee and other caffeine-based drinks, after travelling long distances, as well as under different light and sound conditions.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Love for sleeping that would put Kumbhakarna to shame
  •  Strong analytical skills and an insightful bent of mind
  • A good understanding of the best practices in mattress design.A passion for product quality and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated expertise in sleeping under varied condition
  • A strong customer focus
  • A complete lack of enthusiasm and drive

In a matter of hours, the post went viral with several shares and retweets across platforms. It is now conventional wisdom that any marketer will bet their last bottom dollar on Facebook and Twitter, but LinkedIn?

The buttoned-down social network is not generally considered a hotbed of marketing  experimentation. This was proved wrong with our April Fool’s campaign, we had close to 22,000 views for our job post on LinkedIn and over 500 applications in a day’s time.

By April Fools’, we had over 1000 applications on LinkedIn and via email – some serious, some in jest. We had several international applicants asking us if we could send the mattress to them so they could “work remotely”, but were also willing to relocate if required. Applicants included co-founders of other start-ups and employees of some of India’s largest e-commerce websites.

India loves to sleep, no?

#IndianStartupData : Urban Ladder FY 14-15 Revenue Grew Marginally, Losses Surge 7.5 X

Urban Ladder Home Décor Solutions Pvt. Ltd., which owns and operates Urban Ladder, has reported its latest revenue figures. Urban Ladder’s operating revenue grew from INR 11 crores in FY 13-14 to INR 13 crores in FY 14-15, while the losses surged from INR 7.6 crores to INR 58.5 crores in the same period.indianstartupdata

Financial Performance

Urban Ladder’s total revenue stood at INR 19.2 crores – INR 12.98 Cr from operations and INR 6.23 other income – in FY 14-15 compared to INR 11.9 crores (INR 11 Cr from operations) in the previous fiscal.

Looking at their P&L, it appears that they have shifted from an inventory led model to a marketplace model during FY 13-14 to 14-15.

Revenue from ‘Sale of furniture’, which contributed 74% of their revenue from operations in previous fiscal, was nil in this one.

In INR Crores FY 14-15 FY 13-14
Sale of furniture        —- 8.10
Service Income – Commission 12.98 2.87
Total Revenue from Operations 12.98 10.98

Total revenue from operations grew by only 18% this fiscal. A total ‘Other Income’ of INR 6.2 crores, was mainly comprised of the ‘interest income and income from sale of current investments’. The book value of the current investments stood at INR 300 crores as on 31st March, 2015. Following chart depicts their year on year revenue and PAT.

Urban Ladder Chart 1The loss for the company grew to INR 58.5 crores in FY 14-15 as against INR 7.6 crores in FY13-14. While the revenue grew only marginally this fiscal, certain expenses saw a tremendous increase:

  • Advertising and Marketing expenses (grew by a whopping ten times) and
  • Employee expenses (almost quadrupled) – thus increasing Urban Ladder’s losses many folds.

There was also a spurt in the Courier and Delivery Charges (from INR 81 lacs to INR 4.9 crores) and Labour Charges (from INR 58 lacs to INR 3.9 crores). The company provides free home delivery of furniture and free installation.

Urban Ladder Chart 2

About Urban Ladder

Urban Ladder was co-founded by Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa in 2012. It provides an online marketplace for furniture and home décor and operates across 30 cities in India. It provides the service through the website as well as 3 different mobile apps. Its major competitors include Goldman Sachs backed Pepperfry and Rocket Internet backed FabFurnish. As per the documents available with the Registrar of Companies, so far it has raised around INR 460 crores from multiple investors including Kalaari Capital, Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Steadview Capital, Anand and Venky LLC, Ratan Tata and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) among others.

Urban Ladder was one of the early entrants in the online furniture retail space, which used to be a niche till a few years back. With a strong focus on quality, they are trying to build their USP on high end designs and great customer experience. With several established players and many more new ones coming in this space, battle is only going to get more intense.

[About the author: Vishal and Anchal form the team that runs the Tofler blog. They like to explore and track companies, their performance and senior management. Tofler (tofler.in) is a Business Research Platform.]

Urban Ladder’s App Now Lets You Design Your Room [Before Buying Furniture]

Urban ladder has announced the launch of a new feature on their app which allows users to design an ideal look for their room.

Users can choose background and flooring that best resemble their property and then select products from Urban Ladder’s collection to get an idea of what goes where before buying the goods. The images of the products can be rotated and placed anywhere in the virtual space.

The next version of the feature will allow users to share their saved designs with other customers and provide inspiration as well as get recommendations from similar spaces.

Urban Ladder’s team came up with the idea for this feature when they noticed a growing trend in customers to buy furniture for an entire space rather than seeking individual items.

Urban Ladder Wants You To Shop For Furniture Right From Your Apple Watch

Online furniture seller Urban Ladder has announced the launch of its Apple Watch app that allows users to browse through bestselling products on the platform right from their wrists.

Urban-Ladder-Apple-Watch-App

Users will be able to check the price and even add products to their cart or wish list, but smartly pushes all further functionality to the user’s iPhone.

The Apple Watch app is synced to the user’s iPhone allowing them to open up relevant details about a product on their phone with just a tap on their wrist.

Urban Ladder’s Apple Watch app was conceptualized by the team during an internal hackathon. The app was then built by a Bangalore-based tech startup under the UL Labs initiative which is also responsible for apps such as Living Spaces and Urban Storage.

Urban Ladder Launches ‘Exchange for Good’ Initiative : Donate Old Furniture to NGOs

UrbanLadder has launched ‘Exchange for Good’ programme enabling customers to donate their old furniture for 10% discount on the site.

When a customer chooses the exchange offer on the website, they receive a 10% discount on the new purchase and the Urban Ladder  team picks up the old furniture to ensure it is donated to someone in need. Through a partnership with Milaap, Urban Ladder has partnered with 11 NGOs across Bangalore who will receive the old furniture.

 

Exchange Old Furniture @UrbanLadder
Exchange Old Furniture @UrbanLadder

The initiative provides an opportunity to customers to donate their old furniture while purchasing at Urban Ladder and give others a chance to start their life afresh. These NGOs contribute towards Women Empowerment and are involved in Education, Health and Community development.

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs Anand Rajaraman And Venky Harinarayan Invest In Urban Ladder

Silicon valley entrepreneurs, Anand Rajaraman and Venky Harinarayan have made an investment in Urban Ladder.  The Silicon Valley based entrepreneurs have come on board as investors at a time when the company is ramping up its technology platforms and offerings, to redefine furniture shopping in India.urbanladder_thumb.png
Anand and Venky co-founded Junglee Corp in 1996, and pioneered internet comparison shopping. They co-founded Cambrian Ventures, an early stage VC fund in 2000, and Kosmix, a website that organizes the internet by topic in 2005. In 2011, Kosmix was acquired by Walmart and both Anand and Venky headed the WalmartLabs operations till June 2012.

Furniture and home décor is a highly unorganized category in India, and Urban Ladder has been able to fill the need gap by finding great solutions for customers. The company’s journey has been very impressive. It’s a great team, off to a terrific start, and well positioned to be the leading furniture and home décor company in Indiasaid Anand Rajaraman, Founding Partner, Cambrian Ventures.

Technology will be a key driver in Urban Ladder’s growth. The company is working on several tech innovations to solve complex furniture e-commerce problems. Some of the key focus areas for Urban Ladder are mobile, data and analytics and product visualization.
Urban Ladder has thus far raised $77 million from Sequoia Capital, TR Capital, Kalaari Capital, SAIF Partners and Steadview Capital in the last 3 years. Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Group made a personal investment in the company in November 2014.   

Social Media Analysis Of Online Furniture Retailers : Urban Ladder has the Highest Negative Mentions

Social Media is indeed an important portal for customer interaction, addressing the grievances; and most essentially, valuing the brand and its products.
This 30 days (March 15-April 15, 2015) analytic report from Simplify360 studies the online presence of the 3 major Online Furniture Retailers in India.
Pepperfry leads on social media with 15,572 mentions whereas Fab Furnish and Urban Ladder is much below -with less than 2000 mentions.
Simplify360Urban Ladder leads on Facebook with highest engagement per unit number of fans followed by Fab Furnish.
simplify360
Pepperfry leads on Twitter with an average in terms of both mentions and followers. Urban Ladder has the highest number of mentions and Fab Furnish tops with the number of followers.
simplify360
Customer service issues and delay in delivery are the most common areas of concern and where all the brand need to work upon. Pepperfry is rated the lowest (43%) with regard to customer service issues, followed closely by Urban Ladder(41%) and Fab Furnish (19%).
simplify360

UrbanLadder Raises $50 million Led By Sequoia Capital

Urban Ladder has raised $50 million in a new round of funding led by Sequoia Capital along with TR Capital and participation from existing investors Steadview Capital, SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital.urbanladder_thumb.png
Urban Ladder was launched in July 2012 and offers a curated range of over 4000 products across 35+ categories in furniture and home décor.

Over the last 3 years, we have stayed sharply focused on our design thinking, product quality and customer experience. While these will continue to be important themes, geographical expansion will also be a key focus area this year. We will be present in 30 cities by the end of 2015” said Ashish Goel, CEO & Co-founder, Urban Ladder.