Indian etailer Koovs has issued more shares to raise approximately £4.5m to invest in marketing and broadening its product range.
The new Koovs multichannel marketing campaign
The move today builds on the £1.1m raised through the issue of new shares to management in October, amounting to a total raised of £5.6m over the past few months.
It comes as the etailer, which is headed by former Asos.com non-executive director Mary Turner, increased sales by 210% to INR295.6m (£2.96m) for the 14 weeks ending January 3.
Koovs launched the first phase of its new multichannel marketing campaign between November 23 and December 31, and reported brand awareness increased from 1% to 8% during the period, stabilising at around 7%.
The firm employs around 25 people at an office in London and approximately 250 people in India.
It made around a dozen roles redundant at its UK office in October last year, which Turner said was a result of refocusing its operations across both sites to reduce overlap.
Turner, who joined the firm in October last year, said the London office focused around creative, buying and design while execution and operations are located in India, including marketing, merchandising, distribution, warehousing and customer care.
The Indian etailer, which offers predominantly Western fashion for style-focused consumers, offers around 3,500 style options from brands including New Look, Oasis, Warehouse, Lipsy, Glamorous and Girls on Film, and around 3,000 private label styles. Buying and product design for its own label is done from the company’s London office.
In terms of sales, Turner said 60% of revenues come from branded products and 40% from private label.
“Koovs was established as a niche trend-led fashion destination and we have been very successful in establishing our credentials through brands and our style options, as well as through collaborations with the likes of Henry Holland, Giles Deacon and local Indian designers,” she said.
“Now we are starting to extend this to appeal to a wider audience by launching into daywear, leisurewear, activewear and officewear.
“We introduced a denim range in the last year and it has seen 150% growth,” she explained.
She said the Indian ecommerce market is growing very fast and is characterised by a young consumer demographic, with the median age at 27, compared to a UK average of 40.
“The lifestyle market in India is set to grow from a £34bn market into a £60bn market by 2020, with an annual growth rate of 11%, while the ecommerce market is set to grow from £1.4bn to £7.5bn in the same period, with an annual growth rate of closer to 40%,” she said.
“Although the Indian ecommerce market looks quite crowded and volatile, there is a clear white space where we are operating as most competitors are marketplace and multi-category.
“Where we differ is that we have an exclusive private label offering designed by our team in our London studio, which is focused on the style-conscious affluent Indian youth market.
“We want to amplify our brand awareness to own this area and become the authority on international fashion. Finally, because we own our inventory we have the ability to curate and edit our offer, which sets us apart from our competitors,” she said.
She added the company is currently focused on India and has no plans to expand elsewhere in the short to medium term.
“The Indian market is in its infancy and for the near term we want to establish ourselves there. The Indian market is so young and dynamic, which makes it very exciting.”
The etailer did not report profits for the latest period but in its last reporting update, losses widened to INR570.6m (£5.7m) for the six months to September 30, from INR359.5m (£3.6m) during the same period in 2014. Revenues grew 144% to INR199.2m (£2m).