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13 Apr 2017

Indian lingerie start-up Clovia raises $4m in funding

Clovia makes every thread count, raises $4 million

Indian lingerie start-up Clovia has managed to secure a whopping $4m in a post-Series A funding round.

The CEO and co-founder Pankaj Vermani remarked that they were excited "to learn from experiences of the likes of Ravi who've developed some of the biggest consumer businesses in the country"

Here's a look into the ups and downs of the firm's journey.

In context

Clovia makes every thread count, raises $4 million
Fund generation and subsequent allocation in the business


Fund generation and subsequent allocation in the business

The funding round was led by Singularity Ventures and Ravi Dhariwal, the ex-CEO of Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd along with the existing investors.

Clovia said that the fresh funds were going to be used to boost their products via marketing and in development costs.

The funding will also be channelled into expanding their sales channels to gain more revenue.

Husband-wife duo

The husband-wife fueled enterprise

Initially known as Cloe, the company was started in 2013 by a husband-wife duo Neha Kant and Pankaj Vermani along with Suman Choudhry and Aditya Chaturvedi.

Purple Panda Fashions Pvt Ltd owned Clovia designs and manufactures its own products, monitors their sales and manages the inventory on its own by using smart technology, which reduces their operational costs.

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Bringing geeky innovation for an extra edge


Bringing geeky innovation for an extra edge

Clovia has introduced several unique initiatives in its business, such as its proprietary customer data analytics to produce fresh inventories every month.

As of now, its website receives 1.5 million views and sells around 250,000 units every month.

According to the company, 80% of its sales come from their mobile website and app, among which 50% are generated by repeat customers.

In-house design

Staying ahead of the competition

According to Vermani, the "in-house design and manufacturing gives the company good gross margins". The company has grown 200% last year and is about to become EBITDA positive in a few months, said the CEO.

The company brings around 200 new styles every month and around 70% of its products on the website are fresh and less than 45 days old, claimed Vermani.

Major competitors in the online lingerie segment


Major competitors in the online lingerie segment

Clovia competes against other lingerie brands, such as Zivame and PrettySecrets.

IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital-backed Zivame had raised $49 million since inception in 2011. It also has Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata group as one of its investors.

MTC Ecom Pvt Ltd owned PrettySecrets has so far raised over $600 million from investors like Orios Venture Partners and Indian Angel Network.

Crunching numbers

Rising sales, plummeting losses

In FY 16 Clovia's net sales rose by 61% and stood at Rs. 30 crore, however, the net loss of the company also widened to Rs. 9.5 crore in FY16 compared to Rs. 1.7 crore in the previous year.

The total expenditure of the company hiked up to Rs. 39.3 crore from its previous year's expenditure of Rs. 20.3 crore.

An acquired taste

The CEO and co-founder of Clovia, Pankaj Vermani's father had a lingerie store in Meerut's Sadar Bazar. Around 1994, when Vermani was in standard XII, his father made it mandatory for him to spend at least two hours a day in the shop.

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