India: Used furniture startup Gozefo raises $9m from Sequoia, Beenext, others

Used furniture and appliances platform Zefo, which operates as gozefo.com, has raised Rs60 crore (about $9 million) in a Series B round from Sequoia Capital India, Helion Venture Partners and Beenext Pte. Ltd, the company said in a statement.

The Bengaluru-based company will use the money to widen operations, improve customer care, expand inventory and hire fresh talent, CEO Rohit Subramanian told Mint.

Zefo, owned by Zero Effort Technologies Pvt. Ltd started off selling used furniture and home appliances in 2015. It now operates in Bengaluru, Mysore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Mumbai.

Three months ago, it started selling mobile phones in some of these cities. It plans to add more categories in the future.

It currently has over 10,000 products across categories like beds, sofas, dining sets, wardrobes, TVs, washing machines, refrigerators and air-conditioners. It sells both used products as well as unboxed goods from manufacturers. The company was founded in August 2015 by Rohit Ramasubramanian, Karan Gupta, Himesh Joshi and Arjit Gupta. It previously raised $6 million in November last year.

More than half of inventory is sourced from consumers who sell used products. It also sources furniture from e-commerce marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, UrbanLadder and Pepperfry. Customers on these platforms exchange their old furniture and appliances in return for new products, while the used products go directly to Zefo.

The company refurbishes and repairs the sourced furniture and appliances, and sells it on its platform. According to chief executive officer Ramasubramanian, the second-hand market is a low-trust market, and Zefo is trying to solve it by bringing convenience to used goods buyers by investing in customer care and refurbishing.

“Our core focus of offering a standardized, transparent, high-trust and convenient way for people to buy and sell their products online has helped us establish our presence as the preferred used goods marketplace in the country. We will continue to strengthen these aspects with focus on technology and operations to further enhance our customer experience,” Ramasubramanian said in a statement.

The start-up claims to have grown from around 25,000 customers in 2016 to about 150,000 customers currently. Revenues are growing 30% every month, Ramasubramanian told Mint.

Its competitors include bigger e-commerce companies like eBay which sells refurbished mobile phones, tablets, laptops as well as used books and game CDs. eBay India also allows customers to sell their used products domestically and internationally. Apart from this, classified portals like Quikr and Olx also compete with Zefo.

This article 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.