India: Voonik raises $6m from Sequoia, Singapore’s RB Investments

Start-up Voonik Technologies Pvt. Ltd, owner of the Voonik fashion app, has raised $6 million (Rs40 crore) from Singapore-based RB Investments and existing investor Sequoia Capital, two people aware of the development said.

The latest round is a follow-on to its Series B round of $20 million in July, led by Sequoia Capital, said one of the two people cited above, requesting anonymity. Other investors in Voonik’s previous round included Times Internet, Seedfund, Beenos, Beenext, Parkwood Bespin, Tancom Investments and Freecharge’s Kunal Shah.

“RB Investments has invested close to $4 million in this round, while existing investor Sequoia has put in around $2 million,” said the first person. The funds will be utilized to scale up its men’s and premium segments, which were launched last year, he added.

The company had raised a $5 million Series A round of funding from Sequoia India and early-stage investment fund Seedfund in 2015.

Sequoia Capital declined to comment. Emails sent to Sujayath Ali, founder of Voonik, did not elicit any response. Emails sent to RB Investments too went unanswered.

The company competes with social commerce fashion portal Limeroad, besides larger rivals Myntra, Jabong, Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. E-commerce sales in India are expected to grow from $14 billion in 2015 to $55 billion in 2018, according to a report in December 2015 by marketing research firm eMarketer.

The company runs a lean marketplace business where it operates without inventory and fulfilment centres.

In June last year, Voonik announced the acquisition of three start-ups in the fashion space—Zohraa, Styl and Picksilk—to enter the premium e-commerce segment. The company did not disclose the size of the deals, which were acqui-hires.

Before these, Voonik also acqui-hired TrialKart, Getsy and a team from apparel rental start-up Klozee.

RB Investments is the investment arm of Singapore-based entrepreneur Rajesh Bothra, who runs an IT distribution company Kobian Pte Ltd. Kobian sells computer components, peripherals and lifestyle products under the Mercury brand.

The Singapore-based venture capital firm has made more than a dozen investments in India so far. Some of its recent investments in India include food-tech start-up Swiggy, tech-enabled hotel chain FabHotels.com, online jewellery retailer Bluestone.com, online retailer of branded Indian food products Delight Foods, online furniture start-up CapriCoast.com and laundry services start-up 5-a-sec.

Earlier this week, Holiday Triangle Travel Pvt. Ltd, which operates TravelTriangle.com, announced that it has raised $10 million in a Series B round led by RB Investments. In June, RB Investments led a $6 million round in PrettySecrets.com, a Mumbai-based online lingerie platform.

This story was first published on Livemint

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.