Add Some 'Tadka' to Your Home With Interesting Furniture from Pepperfry!

Chayanika Goswami Chayanika Goswami
Oct 21, 2020 12 min read
Add Some 'Tadka' to Your Home With Interesting Furniture from Pepperfry!

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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 the organization it is based on.

Till a few years back, buying furniture was a tiring task. You have to either rush from one showroom to other in search of the design or quality of furniture you are looking for, or you have to get it made. But the process is much simpler now. You can now simply choose any piece of furniture you like online, and get it delivered and even get it assembled and installed, without any hassle.  Owing to this many benefits, the number of people opting to buy furniture online has increased. According to RedSeer Consulting, the online furniture market is expected to reach $ 3 billion in 2020.

Pepperfry is one such company that is behind this growing popularity of online furniture shopping among Indians. Established in 2011, Pepperfry brings to you stylish and quality furniture with attractive EMI options. From electrical appliances to wall arts, Pepperfry grants everything which you need to make your apartment a home. Lets have an insight into this startup that has successfully established itself as a signature of beautiful homes!

Read more about Pepperfry Company Profile, Founders, Business Model, Funding, Competitors, Logo, Growth etc.,

Pepperfry - Company Highlights

Startup Name Pepperfry
Headquarter Mumbai
Founders Ambareesh Murty & Ashish Shah
Sector Ecommerce
Founded 2011
Parent Organization TrendSutra Platform Services Pvt Ltd
Website www.pepperfry.com

Pepperfry - About and How Pepperfry works
Pepperfry - Founders/Owners and team
Pepperfry - Parent Company
How was Pepperfry Started
Pepperfry - Meaning / Tagline / Logo
Pepperfry - Startup Challenges
Pepperfry - Competitors
Pepperfry - Business Model and Revenue Model
Pepperfry - Awards
Pepperfry - Funding and Investors
Pepperfry - Partnership and Tie-ups
Pepperfry - Growth and Revenue
Pepperfry - Future Plans
Pepperfry - FAQs

Pepperfry - About and How Pepperfry Works

The largest online furniture store in India, Pepperfry was founded in the year 2011 by Ambreesh Murthy and Ashish Shah. The brand Pepperfry specializes and deals with home decor segments like furnishing, lighting, kitchen appliances, housekeeping, bathing equipment, dining and so on.

This e-commerce company has a wide range of products that makes an amazing experience for the users. Their products and delivery mechanism has made them a leading brand in their category. The company has 7 million+ visits on the website every month, more than 4.5 million registered users and subscribers and over 10,000 sellers on board.  

Initially, Pepperfry was started to provide products across multiple lifestyle categories but then after a year, in 2013, Pepperfry pivoted to find a niche in the category of selling only furnishings, home decor, and related products online. Headquartered in Mumbai, Pepperfry has also opened over 60 Pepperfry studios in 18 Indian cities. These studios display a wide range of furniture, so that the customers can get a look and feel of the furniture before placing an order.

In September 2018, Pepperfry launched a furniture rental service in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Noida, and Ahmedabad, despite Furlenco and Instamojo already having a lion’s share of the market. This service targets the urban population between the ages of 25 to 35, and is offering 1200+ products on rent for a period of 6, 9 or 12 months. In 2018, it also tied up with online classifieds platform Quikr for a furniture exchange programme.

Pepperfry is particularly proud of its Omni-channel capabilities, allowing the consumer to order anytime, anywhere, from any channel or device. This is possible through mobile and website presence, which allows consumers to switch easily between these media for any part of their purchase journey.


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Pepperfry - Founders/Owners and team

Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah are the founders of Pepperfry.

The Pepperfry Team
Pepperfry founders and team

Peppefry co-founders Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah were colleagues from e-bay.  

Pepperfry CEO, Ambareesh Murty is an MBA graduate from IIM-C. He had worked with Cadbury, ICICI Prudential, and Britannia. Ambareesh was the Country Manager of eBay India, Philippines, and Malaysia, while serving as the Vice Chairman of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Ashish Shah, COO, Pepperfry, has an Advanced Diploma in Materials Management from the Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pune. Ashish began his career by joining Tradox Pigments & Chemicals as their Branch Sales Manager in 1998, and later worked in companies like ChemB.com India, C1 India Pvt Ltd, Baazee.com and lastly eBay, before starting Pepperfry.

The other core members of the team are Sanjay Netrabile, who is the CTO of Pepperfry, and Kashyap Vadapalli, who is the CMO and Head of New Business.


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Pepperfry - Parent Company

Trendsutra Platform Services Private Limited is the parent company of Pepperfry.

It provides e-commerce products and offers discounted lifestyle products for retail sale through the internet, including clothing, furniture, jewelry, personal care items, and home decor products.

How was Pepperfry Started

In June 2011, Ambareesh Murty, Ashish Shah, and Niren Shah—all former eBay India personnel—met over lunch at Niren Shah’s Nariman Point office in Mumbai. Murty was the country manager for eBay India and Ashish Shah headed the motors and social shopping divisions there; Niren Shah had quit in 2007 to join Norwest Venture Partners, an investment firm, as managing director.

As they lunched, Murty and Ashish Shah outlined their plans to launch a lifestyle e-commerce venture on a paper napkin to Niren Shah, who immediately liked the idea. That lunch meeting was the genesis of Pepperfry, the online furniture marketplace, and home decor platform.


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During the initial phase, both the co-founders were clear with their startup idea
but were confused with the selection of the name. While thinking of many names
that popped up in their mind they narrowed down to "Pepper" to give it an Indian touch and then added fry to the name for making it interesting.

Although thename seemed to be of a restaurant or food startup, they started to take advice from the built businesses on the name and recorded these interviews. They thenfound a way to explain their name and their work through videos on ‘Pepperfry TV’.

Pepperfry Logo
Pepperfry Logo
"When we were hunting for a good name, we asked ourselves what’s truly Indian? We came up with spices. Hence pepper. It’s truly Indian! We added fry to bring fun element. But it was sounding like a foodie brand. So we went and talked to folks who have built successful foodie business. We interviewed owner of Britannia Restaurant (famous Parsi joint), Bade Miyan etc and we asked them how they built business, what pepperfry means to them. We made videos of these and Pepperfry TV is a way for us to explain who we are" Pepperfry owner Ambareesh Murty said in an interview with nextbigwhat.com

Through the name, the founders want to reflect the company’s business
attitude that was Fun, Honest and Indian.  Pepperfry's tagline ‘Happy Furniture to You’ is a representation of their ultimate goal to make their customers happy through their products and service.

Pepperfry - Startup Challenges

The greatest challenge that posed for Pepperfry was logistics. Furniture is not something like pizza which they just have to pick up from the nearest place and deliver to the customer. A small scratch can spoil the whole beauty of the furniture. Initially the company hired third party for logistics. But services provided by third party vendors were pathetic.  

As revealed by the founders, sometimes, the third party delivery agents were even abandoning ordered items in the lobbies of buildings if they did not fit in the elevator. Which led Pepperfry to begin its own in-house logistic services to get the products delivered timely and intact.

Ashish says that now Pepperfry’s damage rate-between the production and delivery to the customer is just 2%, while the global average is 6%


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Pepperfry - Competitors

Pepperfry's competitors are : Homelane, Urban Ladder, Rentickle and GoRootz, Livspace to name a few. Flipkart and Amazon have also posed as a competition to Pepperfry.

Another looming concern is the entry of the world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea. The Swedish retailer began it’s operating in India in 2018.

Pepperfry - Business Model and Revenue Model

Pepperfry works on a Managed Marketplace Business Model wherein the small and medium business artisans and merchants sell their merchandise through the company.

Pepperfry's category team meets the sellers, and after proper checking, they procures selected products from the sellers. The products are then taken to studios for photoshoots. The photos of products are then catalogued and placed on  the website.  Once a product is sold, it is brought from the sellers to Pepperfry's warehouse, where quality of the product is checked, and the product is packed and dispatched to the customer.

Currently, Pepperfry is working with 10,000+ merchant partners who sell their products all over India.

In the year 2014, the company had some variations in its business model. Along with their website, and application, Pepperfry opened its retail stores with the name Pepperfry Studios. The company has till date delivered their products in more than 500 cities and is still expanding its presence in the market


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Pepperfry - Awards

Pepperfry was conferred the “2012 Red Herring Asia Top 100” award which honors the most promising private tech ventures from Asia.

Pepperfry also won the “Pure-Play e-Retailer of the Year” at the Indian e-Retail Congress 2014 that recognizes outstanding performance and innovation in retail.

Pepperfry won the Gold award at the Neons for Best Creative under the category of Retail Advertising for its Outdoor campaign – ‘Happy Furniture to You’.


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Pepperfry - Funding and Investors

Pepperfry has raised a total of $237.4 Million till date (2020).

Recently on 10th February, 2020, Pepperfry raised funding worth $40 Million from Pidilite Industries, makers of popular Indian adhesive brand Fevicol.

The summary and details of funding round of Pepperfry is as follows:

Date Stage Amount Investors
December, 2011 Series A $5 Million Norwest Venture Partners
April, 2013 Series B $8 Million Norwest Venture Partners
May, 2014 Series C $15 Million Bertelsmann & Norwest Venture Partners
July, 2015 Series D $100 Million Bertelsmann India Investments, Norwest Venture Partners & Goldman Sachs
September, 2016 Series E $31 Million Bertelsmann India Investments, Zodius Capital, Norwest Venture Partners & Goldman Sachs
March, 2018 Series E $38.4 Million State Street Global Advisors
February, 2020 Corporate round $40 Million Pidilite Industries Limited

In 2018, Pepperfry received funding of Rs 250 crore from State Street Global Advisors, the asset management business of State Street Corporation, one of the world’s largest investment management companies. This is the highest amount of capital raised by an e-commerce furniture and home products company in India. The funds raised were used to scale up Pepperfry’s logistics network from the present 500 to more than 1,000 cities and open more experience centres, called Pepperfry Studios, in smaller towns and cities.

In 2016, Pepperfry raised Rs.210 crores in a Series E funding round from existing investors Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann India Investments, Norwest Venture Partners and Zodius Technology Fund.

In 2015 Pepperfry raised $100 million (around Rs.600 crore) in a Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Zodius Technology Fund, the company said. The existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments and Norwest Venture Partners also participated in the round. The funds were used to open more distribution centres in an attempt to expand the company’s reach in small cities and towns and strengthen its logistics network, which comprises a fleet of more than 400 vehicles at present.

Pepperfry also raised $15 million (around Rs.90 crore) from Bertelsmann India Investments and Norwest Venture Partners in its second round of funding.


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Pepperfry - Partnership and Tie-ups

In July 2018, Pepperfry tied up with an online marketplace for pre-owned furniture Zefo to provide customers with an opportunity to sell their old furniture to Zefo in exchange for Pepperfry gift cards through the ‘Exchange Your Furniture’ service. These gift cards are redeemable against purchases made on Pepperfry.

Pepperfry also launched the ‘Privilege programme’ by partnering with about 1,400 architects and interior designers to widen its customer reach. The programme is expected to host 10,000 partners by the end of 2018.

Moreover,  Pepperfry also partnered with Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2015 to promote its brand name and also to increase user engagement and sales.

Pepperfry - Growth and Revenue

Today, Pepperfry by far is India’s largest online furniture retailer, with 50% of the market share. As regards Pepperfry's revenue, in FY 2017-2018, Pepperfry's annual revenue was 140.60 crore. In FY 2018-2019, the company's revenue increased by 47 percent to reach Rs 207 crore. Again, Pepperfry reported Rs 183 crore loses in FY 2018-2019

Pepperfry claims to have 21 distribution centers and a fleet of over 400 vehicles. Pepperfry now has 1 million+ home products, ranging from coffee tables and beds to bedsheets and lamps, and delivers to more than 500 cities in India. The company owns 14 warehouses across the country. They say that their Padgha warehouse, located north of Mumbai, is India’s largest.

Pepperfry - Future Plans

The company has already achieved remarkable success and has added value to
the furniture and home décor industry. The company has recently added the
augmented reality (AR) features by which the customers can virtually place the products in their home and then make decisions. The company plans to utilize
such technological advancements to continue in the future as well. Pepperfry has
been able to achieve the trust of the customers which led the company to stand
on top in India.

While currently Pepperfry is mostly curating products from leading manufacturers of furniture and home décor items, in 2020, the company is eyeing to go after local and regional furniture manufacturers as well, to add more variety to its collection. The company is planning to partner with 150-180 local and regional players by the end of 2020.

Pepperfry is looking to file for an IPO within 12-18 months (As of October 2020). "We are turning profitable and this would be the right thing to do next" as said by the founders.

Pepperfry - FAQs

Who is the Founder/owner of Pepperfry?

Pepperfry co-founders are Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah. Parent Company of Pepperfry is Trendsutra Platform Services Private Limited.

What is the Tagline of Pepperfry?

Pepperfry's tagline "Happy Furniture to You" is a representation of their ultimate goal to make their customers happy through their products and service

Is Pepperfry Indian Company?

Yes. Pepperfry is headquartered at Mumbai, India.

How long does Pepperfry take to deliver?

In Mumbai, the delivery is done within 24 hours. Pepperfry has bought down the delivery time from 25 days to almost 11 days now. The delivery vehicles are highly customised, and are padded from inside to prevent scratching.

Does Pepperfry assemble furniture?

Not only the furniture is made with love, but also are delivered and installed/assembled effectively.

Is it safe to buy from Pepperfry?

Pepperfry is a reliable site to order furniture items online. This e-commerce company has a wide range of products that makes an amazing experience for the users. Their products and delivery mechanism has made them a leading brand in their category.

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