ikOOji Startup Story: Brand that creates magic for kids

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Aug 13, 2021 10 min read
ikOOji Startup Story: Brand that creates magic for kids

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by ikOOji.

Founded by Karan Singh and Manuraj Singh Johar, ikOOji is a one-stop shop to find premium quality kids' furniture products. It is delivering happiness not only to the faces of little ones but parents too. Parents can now browse multiple options while sitting at their homes without worrying about the design, delivery, durability & installment. As everything is taken care of. Shopping for kid’s furniture can now be easily done just like any other home essentials.

ikOOji is based in Gurugram and entered the industry in July 2020. With the expertise of stalwarts of the furniture manufacturing industry & a strong team of founders, ikOOji has become India's favorite kids' furniture brand in less than 1 Year of operations.

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Karan Singh, Founder of ikOOji to know the Startup Story and the roadmap of the organization. He also gave insights on the business model of ikOOji, how it started, funding, challenges faced, competitors & more. In short, know the Journey of ikOOji since its inception to date!

ikOOji - Company Highlights

Startup Name ikOOji
Founder Karan Singh, Manuraj Singh Johar
Founded July 2020
Headquarters Gurugram
Industry Kids Furniture
Website ikooji.com

ikOOji - About and Vision
ikOOji - Industry Details
ikOOji's Journey - How it Started
ikOOji - Product/Service
ikOOji - Founders and Team
ikOOji - Name, Tagline and Logo
ikOOji - Business Model and Revenue Model
ikOOji - Startup Launch
ikOOji - Challenges faced
ikOOji - Competitors
ikOOji - Recognition and Achievements
ikOOji - FAQs

ikOOji - About and Vision

ikOOji is a one-stop-shop to find premium quality kids' furniture products that will run for ages and will be loved by the kids endlessly. The mix-match of fun and functionality with dreamy aesthetics contributes to making the best range of furniture products that not only makes the space vibrant but makes the first experiences of the littles ones, a magical one!

ikOOji comes from the term Ikuji, which in Japanese means “Childcare”. The meaning matches with the core values of the organization i.e., to leave no corners unturned for excellent childcare through high quality and sustainable furniture for kids of all ages.

"Crafting furniture that connects with the heart of our little ones is what we always focus on. The direct approach and objective have resulted in making us a brand of the kids, for the kids, by the kids within a year of operations" says Karan Singh, Founder, ikOOji

Without a fail, ikOOji is delivering happiness not only to the faces of little ones but parents too. Now parents have a place to shop for furniture for their kids. Before ikOOji, there wasn’t a reliable place to shop. Either you have to wander around places or spent hours with the carpenter to make it done. On the other hand, this pandemic wouldn’t spare so much time outdoors. But after ikOOji, parents can now browse multiple options while sitting at their homes without worrying about the design, delivery, durability & installment. As everything is taken care of. Shopping for kid’s furniture can now be easily done just like any other home essentials.

Within one year of operations, ikOOji has become the leading and trusted Indian kids' furniture online store. With this same energy and dedication, the company is visioning to be one of the topmost online kid's furniture stores in the future.


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ikOOji - Industry Details

Scope Of Growth

  • The target audience of the Metropolitan cities is in majority especially the young parents ranging from 28-40 years of age who are always seeking for transforming and recreating creative vibrant spaces for their kids.
  • Stats for kids’ furniture as per the industry estimates concluded that the offline market is hitting across 10% to 15%  of growth on yearly basis, whereas the online market is growing at 300% year on year.
  • 85% of the market is unorganized and there is immense scope for growth and penetration.
  • Famous marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, and Pepperfry are launching more brands and categories on a monthly basis and getting a great response. So definitely the scope for kids’ furniture is definitely way more than our imagination.

[Source - Business Standard, MoneyControl]

Competitors’ Analysis

Slowly the online marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, and Pepperfry are shifting their priorities on kids’ furniture by launching a variety of options for young parents. New budding competitors have been observed but their prime audience is new parents targeting nursery furniture like cribs, diaper-changing stations & more.

5% YoY growth In the organized Kids Furniture segment since ’15 with Pepperfry projecting 500 Cr in ‘21 through Kids segment. Market share is expected to grow to 24% for organized offline retail and 14% for online retail by the year 2025. ikOOji is a growing online furniture store that offers high-quality and sustainable furniture for kids of all ages. Serving vibrant and creative options of furniture loved by juniors. Focusing on building happy spaces for kids. This sets ikOOji apart from others.


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ikOOji's Journey - How it Started

Challenges Faced by the Founding Team -

It’s never easy to set up a business or organization. People have to cross the hurdles or roadblocks in their journey. Just like that ikOOji's founders too faced many. The setup was planned to be launched in July 2020 but the pandemic happened. Everything was closed worldwide, they were really confused about how to begin with their journey. Even the small task like buying the raw material, arranging the labor or setting up the processes was a challenge now. Amidst July, they realized that for them nothing would be easy. So only the key mantra of patience and consistency will make it work.

Slowly and steadily, they started again with the same passion and motivation and started selling the furniture on marketplaces. Surprisingly they received a good response and parents were loving the furniture. This pushed them on rolling out the new collection. Selling on marketplaces acted like a blessing and the positive response acted in channelizing new energies in them. Because of this, today ikOOji proudly owns more than 500+ SKU.

Over the period of time, the daily consistency & efforts from the team resulted in switching the buyers to the website and the majority of them are now preferring to buy from the website only. ikOOji is based in Gurugram and entered the industry in July 2020. With the expertise of stalwarts of the furniture manufacturing industry & a strong team of founders, ikOOji has become India's favorite kids' furniture brand in less than 1 Year of operations.

The Eureka Moment

Both the founders Manuraj Singh Johar and Karan Singh are college friends and have worked together for years. Being new parents themselves, they were discussing their parenting journey and surprisingly realized that both of them faced trouble in finding one reliable cradle in the market.

This thought rang the bell in their minds that just like them how difficult it is for other parents too. They researched about it and realized that there is a gap in the Indian market for kids’ furniture. This eventually gave birth to “the idea of ikOOji”.

ikOOji was started in July 2020 amidst the pandemic. The initial months were not easy. The problems faced in the initial months were already calculated by the founders but the new problems because of lockdown weren’t predicted. But slowly and steadily they worked it around in their favor. As the situation outside made it impossible for the new parents to shop furniture offline so they gave ikOOji a chance which resulted in wonders.

"We were selling our products in marketplaces first but later people recognized ikOOji and they shifted to the website. This whole process resulted in making ikOOji as a leading Indian brand in a year" Karan added.

ikOOji even managed to get its first funding from Aakanksha Bhargava, the successful entrepreneur leading a larger relocation business in India. The CEO of PM Relocation which offers global mobility services across the world operating on both B2C and B2B models with a clientele of over 500 MNC’s.

She is now the Director & Advisor of the team. Being a mother herself, she is able to bring trusted and resourceful inputs to the direction. Even delivering all across India has now become easy. ikOOji is now successfully operating the D2C (Direct To Customer) model.

In the lockdown days, ikOOji has been really appreciated by the parents as they were able to shop premium quality furniture for kids at the ease without any troubles. Despite the lockdown, ikOOji has been regular in delivering furniture all over India.


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ikOOji - Product/Service

ikOOji - A brand that creates magic for kids’

Here at ikOOji, the team believes in spreading smiles and creating lasting memories with kids' furniture. Keeping little ones happy is its top concern, so they always stay updated with their rising expectations and likeness, in order to maintain kid-friendly aesthetic furniture. Creating a base of functionality and layering it with admiring designs which are just as magical as the imagination of the little ones.

We are a brand for the kids, by the kids, of the kids. This approach sets ikOOji apart from others.

All of ikOOji's designs are approved by podology experts. The collection changes every season. Amending all the new requirements and high-quality functionality, ikOOji launches its new collection. To date, the company has been successfully serving more than 500+ SKU to clients.

ikOOji - Founders and Team

Manuraj Singh Johar and Karan Singh are the founders of ikOOji.

Karan Singh | Founder, ikOOji

ikOOji Founders
Karan Singh - Founder, ikOOji

15 years of designing and marketing experience across sectors including travel, consumer products, & FMCG.

Manuraj Singh Johar | Co-founder, ikOOji

ikOOji founders
Manuraj Singh Johar - Co-founder, ikOOji

17 years of experience in Product Development, Consumer Businesses, Hospitality & Tourism.

Aakanksha Bhargava | Director & Advisor, ikOOji

ikOOji Team
Aakanksha Bhargava - Director & Advisor, ikOOji

The CEO of PM Relocations which offers global mobility services across the world operating on both B2C and B2B models with a clientele of over 500 MNC’s.

ikOOji comes from the term Ikuji, which in Japanese means “Childcare”. The meaning matches with the core values of the organization i.e., to leave no corners unturned for excellent childcare through high quality and sustainable furniture for kids of all ages.

'Brand For The Kids, By The Kids, Of The Kids'

ikOOji Logo

ikOOji - Business Model and Revenue Model

Having 10,00 sqft of the area where all the labor, craftsmen, and designers work in crafting premium wooden quality kids’ furniture. ikOOji delivers across India. After getting its first funding from Aakanksha Bhargava, ikOOji serves a D2C model. So parents all across India can now shop superior quality furniture for their kids just sitting in their houses without worrying about quality, durability & delivery.

ikOOji has stepped into the market with an initiative to bridge the gap in the market for kid’s furniture. Along with the coming years, it has a strong belief to be successful in doing that.

ikOOji's prime audience is young parents with kids aged 0- 16 living in the metropolitan cities of India. Tier 1 and Tier 2 are whom it is targeting.
All the evolving parents who believe in creating unique spaces for their kids will be its potential customers.  


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ikOOji - Startup Launch

Initially, when Karan & Manuraj started ikOOji, word of mouth advertising made the brand popular amongst their small social circle consisting of family and friends. Then they started social accounts of ikOOji on Instagram and Facebook and that eventually help in calling for its first customers.

"The majority of sales increased when they signed up for online marketplaces.We actually received a good no. of response and the audience actually started recognizing ikOOji as a brand. This profit shifted us in building on own website and staying active on all our social media channels" says Karan Singh, Founder, ikOOji.

Soon, the audience shifted to its main website and now ikOOji is a full-grown online Indian furniture store in the market.

ikOOji - Competitors

ikOOji's competitors include Ikea kids, Alex Daisy, Mollycuddle, Urban Ladder, Habios, and Rabitat.

ikOOji - Recognition and Achievements

ikOOji received funding within a year of operations and welcomed on board- Aakanksha Bhargava, the successful entrepreneur leading a larger relocation business in India. The CEO of PM Relocation which offers global mobility services across the world operating on both B2C and B2B models with a clientele of over 500 MNC’s.


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ikOOji - FAQs

What is ikOOji?

ikOOji is a one-stop-shop to find premium quality kids' furniture products that will run for ages and will be loved by the kids endlessly.

Who founded ikOOji?

Karan Singh and Manuraj Singh Johar are the founders of ikOOji.

What is the business model of ikOOji?

ikOOji operates on the D2C (Direct To Customer) model.

Who are the competitors of ikOOji?

ikOOji's competitors include Ikea kids, Alex Daisy, Mollycuddle, Urban Ladder, Habios, and Rabitat.

What does 'ikOOji' mean?

ikOOji comes from the term Ikuji, which in Japanese means “Childcare”. The meaning matches with the core values of the organization i.e., to leave no corners unturned for excellent childcare through high quality and sustainable furniture for kids of all ages.

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