Craftsvilla is an online store for Indian ethnic apparels, footwear, fashion accessories, handcrafted lifestyle products, home accessories, and food items. The company was founded in 2011 and headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Craftsvilla connects local artisans and designers directly to global customers. It provides the online marketplace to “Discover Unique Indian Products” including Handmade, Vintage, Ethnic, Organic and Natural products from India.
Founders of Craftvilla:
Craftvilla was founded by Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta. The idea was proposed by Monica Gupta who is also the wife of Manoj. Manoj was working as Principal at investment firm named Nexus Venture Partners which happens to be the first investor of Craftsvilla. Manoj is also working as CEO of Craftsvilla.
Monica Gupta went to San Diego State University for MS in accounting. She was CA by profession and now working as COO of Craftvilla.
The idea of Craftsvilla started when Monica Gupta(Co-founder) went on a road trip to Kutch in Gujarat. While touring she found many artisans and craftsmen who made wonderful creations and yet struggling to survive and earn their livelihood. When she tried to find out the reason she came to know that as these artisans are from rural areas so they don’t know the real value of their art in the urban area hence the middle man who paid them very low for their creations and these middlemen then themselves sell the same items at overstated rates in the market. So she discussed the idea to provide these artisans a platform where they can showcase their product directly to customers without any middle man.
At the time of its inception, Craftsvilla.com is funded by US based Investors: Nexus Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Then in April 2015, Craftsvilla raised 18 billion dollars from Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital and Apoletto.
The Same year in November company again raised 34 million dollars from the same group of investors.
In February 2016 Craftvilla acquired a Mumbai based logistics company named Sendd to improve and streamline their logistics capabilities. The company now works under Craftvilla and have equity in Craftvilla.
In the same year, Craftvilla acquired a marketplace for ethnic foods named PlaceofOrigin. founded in 2014 and also acquired women’s clothes rental platform F2SO4.
Craftsvilla Business Model:
Craftvilla focuses on providing cost effective ethnic goods to its customers by removing the middleman and increasing the livelihood of local artisans and designers, helping them create/promote their brand. The company claims to have more than 25 thousand artisans and designers partnered with the company and have more than 4 million products to sell. Craftsvilla charges a 20% commission on each sale.
Craftsvilla also has tied up with Ministry of Textile, India for e-marketing of handloom products from small artisans and weavers. Craftvilla markets Weavesmart, an online marketplace that offers handloom weaves from across India.
Journey of Craftsvilla:
Craftvilla was launched in 2012 with seed funding of 10 million dollars. The company was started with 80 employees and five offices across India. As per reports, Craftvilla saw a 6% month on month growth in 2013 and 2014. After 2015 company claimed to have seen a 10% month on month growth and hired close to 200 people.
Craftvilla Marketing Strategies:
Craftvilla comes up with some really smart strategies when it comes to marketing, for example, Craftsvilla celebrated World Ethnic Day on June 19 and hired Bollywood actor Vidya Balan as the face of this campaign.
Craftvilla also launched a contest named Miss Ethnic to promote ethnic wear. Bollywood Kareena Kapoor was roped in to promote the event.
The company also attracts customers through other social mediums such as Facebook with more than 5 million fans, Twitter with more than 4.5K followers, Pinterest with more than 4K followers, etc. and through paid ads and through SEO.