How Pepperfry Became the Leading Online Furniture Company?

How Pepperfry Became the Leading Online Furniture Company?
How Pepperfry Became the Leading Online Furniture Company?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations.

It was just a few years back when buying furniture was a tiring task. You have to either rush from one showroom to the other in search of a particular design or quality of furniture you are looking for, or you need to get it custom-made at higher costs and still be dependent on the carpenter or the shop. Even after running pillar to post and waiting for your product, you still might recollect being disappointed with the quality of the furniture, the design, or the costs, which were way too high.

However, the process is much simpler now. You can now simply choose any piece of furniture you like online, get it delivered, and even get it assembled and installed at your leisure without any hassles. Owing to these benefits, the number of people opting for furniture online has increased.

The online furniture market was valued at $25.7 billion in FY20 and boasts of growing at a CAGR of over 35%. 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 art, Pepperfry grants everything you need to make your apartment home and your home your dream one. Let's 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, and more here!

Pepperfry - Company Highlights

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

Pepperfry - About and How Pepperfry works
Pepperfry - Industry
Pepperfry - Founders/Owners and team
How was Pepperfry Started?
Pepperfry - Meaning / Tagline / Logo
Pepperfry - Business Model and Revenue Model
Pepperfry - Funding and Investors
Pepperfry - Shareholding
Pepperfry - IPO
Pepperfry - Partnership and Tie-ups
Pepperfry - Growth and Revenue
Pepperfry - Acquistion
Pepperfry - Awards
Pepperfry - Startup Challenges
Pepperfry - Campaign
Pepperfry - Competitors
Pepperfry - Future Plans

Pepperfry - The Great Indian Home Makeover

Pepperfry - About and How Pepperfry Works

The largest online furniture store in India, Pepperfry was founded in the year 2011 by Ambareesh Murthy and Ashish Shah. However, it was primarily established as a horizontal online marketplace that focused on fashion and lifestyle. Yes, it was the time when Flipkart was just another e-commerce startup, and Amazon didn't hit the Indian markets. Profits initially came in well, but they stopped eventually, which led the company to abandon the earlier business and stick to a niche model involving the online selling of furniture and home furnishing products, which ultimately proved profitable.

The brand Pepperfry now specializes in 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 make for an amazing experience for the users. Their products and delivery mechanism have made them a leading brand in their category. The company has registered 7 million+ visits on its website every month, boasted of more than 4.5 million registered users and subscribers, and claims to have over 10,000 sellers on board.  

Initially, Pepperfry was started to provide products across multiple lifestyle categories, but 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 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 for 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 program.

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.

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

Pepperfry - Industry

The online furniture market in India is growing at a CAGR of a strong 39%. In the calendar year 2020, the online furniture market grew to $400 million from $275 million in 2019. Over the next five years, this market is expected to grow by 3X, with a 1.8X jump in annual spending per shopper.  


CityFurnish Success Story - Quality Furniture & Appliances on Rent online
Furniture, appliances and interior equipment adds life to any space be it home/office/ gym or restaurant. These units besides keeping space organized, makesour lives easy and efficient. However, owning high quality, well designed,highly efficient furniture and appliances could cost you heavens. S…
OnlineOnlinemake

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 eBay.

Ashish Shah

Pepperfry CEO Ashish Shah 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, where he looked after the sales and operations for eBay India before starting Pepperfry. Ambareesh Murty served as the CEO of Pepperfry until the unfortunate passing of the CEO, after which Ashish Shah was appointed as the company's new CEO. Ambareesh Murty held an MBA degree from IIM Calcutta and had a distinguished career with prior roles at Cadbury, ICICI Prudential, and Britannia. He served as the Country Manager of eBay India, the Philippines, and Malaysia and concurrently held the position of Vice Chairman at the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Ashish Shah

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, where he looked after the sales and operations for eBay India before starting Pepperfry.

The other core members of the team are Sanjay Netrabile, who is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Pepperfry, and Kashyap Vadapalli, who has been serving as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and Business Head.


62 Business Ideas with Low Investment and High Profit
One of the most desired things an entrepreneur wants in business is a smallinvestment business idea and high profits. To achieve this, they sought everyway to make their business run smoothly and increase revenue thus profitability.If you land on this article chances are you are looking for Busin…

How was Pepperfry Started?

Ambareesh Murty, Ashish Shah, and Niren Shah, all of whom were former eBay India personnel, met over lunch once in 2011 at Niren Shah’s Nariman Point office in Mumbai. Murty was then the country manager for eBay India, and Ashish Shah led the motors and social shopping departments of the office; Niren Shah had already taken an exit from the company in 2007 and joined the investment firm Norwest Venture Partners as the managing director.

During their lunch that day, Murty and Ashish Shah decided to present their plans for launching a lifestyle e-commerce venture that would revolve around paper napkins to Niren Shah, who loved the idea instantly. This lunch meeting came to be the genesis of Pepperfry, the online furniture marketplace, and the home decor platform.

The founder duo, Murty and Shah, decided to start up in early 2011. It was then that they tried maintaining their LinkedIn profiles accordingly, the first step of which was making their profiles read "starting up". Soon after, they became a team of six, and the company, which was relying on the personal equity of the founders, had now officially committed a sum of $5 million from some VCs. Though the deal was on the term sheet, it didn't materialized in this case.

Here was a time when the brand lacked a brand name and funding, and on the other hand, the founders have already invested all of their life's savings and were peculiarly stranded. However, Murty and Shah didn't lose hope, they instead persuaded their whole time of 25 people to go to Goa on a holiday. This was a daunting step indeed along with being an interesting one, where the founders didn't want to miss out on the last opportunity to enjoy.

The silver lining followed eventually in the form of the Series A funding round that helped pepperfry raise around $5 million. This instilled waves of passion and motivation in the team, and the company never had to look back since then.


Everything to know about Referral Marketing That can boost your Sales
Referral marketing doesn’t get much attention to small businesses, but theindustry knows its value. You might not share about any product you bought, butwhen you get some discount for sharing, your inner “you” automatically press theshare button. Referral marketing is the best way to increase sal…

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 to further make it interesting.

Although the name seemed to be of a restaurant or food startup, they started to take advice from the built businesses on the name and recorded their interviews. This way they figured out a way to explain the name of the brand 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 on the fact that the company’s business attitude was of fun, being Honest, and staying Indian. Pepperfry's tagline, ‘Happy Furniture to You’ is a representation of their ultimate goal to make their customers happy through their products and services.

Pepperfry - Business Model and Revenue Model

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

Pepperfry's category team meets the sellers, and after proper checking, they procure selected products from the sellers. The products are then taken to studios for photoshoots. The photos of the products are then cataloged and placed on the website. Once a product is sold, it is brought from the sellers to Pepperfry's warehouse, where the 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 its website and application, Pepperfry opened its retail stores under the name Pepperfry Studios. The company has to date delivered its products in more than 500 cities and is still expanding its presence in the market


5 Fascinating E-commerce Checkout Tricks To win More Sales Tactics That Can Help Your Business Grow
If the customers have committed to buy a product. Your duty is to get themthrough checkout as quickly as possible. Most of the online stores find the bestway to reduce the number of steps is to use one-step checkouts. But that onestep checkout is not different from five-step checkout. If the one-…
to Win

Pepperfry - Funding and Investors

Pepperfry has raised a total of $308.3 million to date (September 2023). The most recent funding was on September 5, 2023, in the amount of $23 million from an undisclosed investor.

The summary and details of the funding round for Pepperfry are as follows:

Date Stage Amount Investors
September 5, 2023 Funding Round $23 Million -
November 23, 2021 Debt Financing $40 Million Norwest Venture, General Electric Pension Trust and others
February 12, 2021 Debt Financing $4.69 Million InnoVen Capital
February 10, 2020 Series F $40 Million Pidilite Industries Limited
February 7, 2020 Series F $3 Million -
March 7, 2018 Series E $33.55 Million State Street Global Advisors
September 21, 2016 Series E $31 Million Bertelsmann India Investments, Zodius Capital, Norwest Venture Partners & Goldman Sachs
July 27, 2015 Series D $100 Million Bertelsmann India Investments, Norwest Venture Partners & Goldman Sachs
May 27, 2014 Series C $15 Million Bertelsmann & Norwest Venture Partners
April 2, 2013 Series B $8 Million Norwest Venture Partners
December 12, 2011 Series A $5 Million Norwest Venture Partners

Pepperfry - Shareholding

The shareholders of Pepperfry are as follows:

  • Norwest Ventures - 29.40%
  • Broad Street Investments - 21.09%
  • Bertelsmann - 18.64%
  • General Electric Pension Trust - 12.29%
  • Ambareesh Murty - 4.35%
  • MBD Bridge Street - 3.92%
  • Panthera Growth Fund - 3.61%
  • Madhubala Ventures - 2.15%
  • Ashish Shah - 1.45%
  • Cayman Holdings - 1.33%
  • Indiblu Investment - 1.10%
  • Stonebridge - 0.56%
  • Vedantum Family Trust - 0.11%

RentoMojo Company Profile - Business Model | Competitors | Funding | Founder
Millennials today only believe in sharing rather than owning. Be it workspaces,cabs, or even furniture. As we move forward through the years, we see more andmore modernization of the things that were done quite traditionally by oldergenerations. To bring the air of contemporary change in the rent…

Pepperfry - IPO

Pepperfry is looking to list on bourses and for this, it has already started rearranging its business structure. Pepperfry, which was earlier registered in Cayman islands in order to help it list in the US, has now been redominciled in Mumbai. Furthermore, the company is also onboarding independent directors because for the unlisted public companies, it is mandatory to reserve at least 33% of its directorships for independent directors, in case the chairman of the company is an independent director. Pepperfry will likely file its draft red herring prospectus with SEBI this year, 2022. Pepperfry has already converted into a public entity with the Pepperfry board passing its resolution in May 2022. This changed the name of Pepperfry to Pepperfry Limited.

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

Pepperfry is one of the budding online furniture retailers, but the total market share of the company was estimated at a mere 3.5% of the total market size of $20 billion by Redseer. By the end of 2026, the overall furniture market in India is estimated to grow to $37.72 billion, and with a market size of around 3.5%, pepperfry is likely to grow to $1.32 billion by that time.

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.

Some more growth highlights of Pepperfry are:

  • It owns 73+ showrooms
  • Pepperfry boasts of having 140+ studios through its franchise programme
  • Pepperfry is backed by India's leading adhesive company, Pidilite

Pepperfry has already turned into a public company on May 20, 2022, and is all set to go public. The new name of Pepperfry is Pepperfry Limited, and its conversion to a public entity has been passed by the board of directors of the company.

Pepperfry Financials  

Pepperfry Financials
Pepperfry Financials
Nazara Technologies Financials FY21 FY22
Operating Revenue Rs 201 crore Rs 247 crore
Total Expenses Rs 327 crore Rs 458 crore
Profit/Loss Loss of Rs 106 crore Loss of Rs 194 crore
Cash from Operations Surplus of Rs 7 crore Deficit of Rs Rs 173 crore

Expenses Breakdown

Pepperfry total expenses rose from Rs 327 crore in FY21 to Rs 458 crore.

Expenses Breakdown FY21 FY22
Warehousing Cost Rs 129 crore Rs 154 crore
Transportation Cost Rs 33 crore Rs 42 crore
Advertising Cost Rs 73 crore Rs 130 crore
Employee benefit expenses Rs 62 crore Rs 81 crore
Finance Cost Rs 18 crore Rs 23 crore
Cost of material consumed Rs 2.8 crore Rs 20.8 crore
Others Rs 9.2 crore Rs 7.2 crore

EBITDA

Pepperfry experienced financial difficulties in FY21–FY22, as seen by a sharp decline in its EBITDA margin from -20.81% in FY21 to -46.97% in FY22. The drop was partly caused by a rise in operating expenses per rupee of revenue, which went from Rs 1.63 in FY21 to Rs 1.85 in FY22. Furthermore, there was a decline in capital use efficiency, as seen by the worsening of the return on capital employed (ROCE) from -45.60% in FY21 to -50.59% in FY22. All things considered, the corporation had a challenging fiscal year characterized by increased costs and declining profitability.

Pepperfry FY21-FY22 FY21 FY22
EBITDA Margin -20.81% -46.97%
Expense/Rs of Op revenue Rs 1.63 Rs 1.85
ROCE -45.60% -50.59%

Pepperfry - Acquistion

Pepperfry has acquired one company to date (August, 2022).

  • The company has acquired Brandmakerr on August 24, 2022.

Pepperfry - Awards

  • Pepperfry was conferred the “2012 Red Herring Asia Top 100” award, which honored the most promising private tech ventures from Asia.
  • Pepperfry also won “Pure-Play e-Retailer of the Year” at the Indian e-Retail Congress 2014, which recognized 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’.

Pepperfry - Startup Challenges

Pepperfry already faced enough challenges involving funds even before it came up with a name. The next big challenge was the logistics. Furniture is not something like pizza that 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 service providers for logistics. However, the services provided by these third-party vendors were pathetic.

As revealed by the founders, sometimes the third-party delivery agents even abandoned the ordered items in the lobbies of buildings if they did not fit in the elevator. All these 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 production and delivery to the customer is just 2%, while the global average is 6%.

Apart from all these challenges, building a niche market for furniture and furnishings and shifting the entire unorganized market online is itself a feat!


GrabOnRent Success Story - Renting Furniture Online
The whole millennial generation today is all about renting other than owning!Right? Be it shared cabs, carpools, co-working spaces, or renting homeaccessories, millennials are right up to it. And following that premise,IIT-Guwahati graduates – Manish S. Sugandhi, Shubham Jain and Aditya Sharmala…

Pepperfry - Campaign


Pepperfry - Campaign

Kuch Apne Liye, Kuch Apno Ke Liye

The TVC that opens the campaign features a father-and-daughter team competing over the one armchair that sits in the finest WiFi spot in the home while exchanging clever barbs. When the father realizes he is going to lose, he declares a truce and gives his daughter another recliner for Diwali, putting it next to his own. With its Diwali offer and its underlying story of "Thoda apne liye, thoda apnon ke liye," Pepperfry therefore steps in to save the day.

Pepperfry - Competitors

Pepperfry's competitors in the furniture segment are:

  • Livspace to name a few.
  • Homelane
  • Urban Ladder
  • GoRootz

Furthermore, the furniture rental platforms that pose fierce competitors to Pepperfry are:

Another looming concern is the entry of the world’s largest furniture retailer, Ikea. The Swedish retailer began its operation in India in 2018. Ikea also has a gripping backstory of rags-to-riches involving its founder Ingvar Kamprad.


Success Story of Hidecor - Workspace Designing Startup
Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified informationon different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on. As the new generation, there’s a lot more than money and incentives thatmotivate us to go to wor…

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 homes 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.

Pepperfry is currently curating products from the leading manufacturers of furniture and home décor items in 2021, and the company is eyeing to go after the local and regional furniture manufacturers as well to add more variety to its collection. The company is also planning to partner with many local and regional players in the future.

The online furniture retailing startup is eyeing an IPO in 2022, and will likely file its DHRP with SEBI soon, as of July 30, 2022. "We are turning profitable, and this would be the right thing to do next", said the founders.

FAQs

Who is the Founder/owner of Pepperfry?

Pepperfry co-founders are Ambareesh Murty and Ashish Shah. The 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 services.

Is Pepperfry Indian Company?

Yes. Pepperfry is headquartered in Mumbai, India.

How long does Pepperfry take to deliver?

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

Does Pepperfry assemble furniture?

Yes, Pepperfry happily assembles the furniture at the property of the customers without any charges. Besides, they also offer free servicing for almost a year on selected products.

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 make for an amazing experience for the users. The products and delivery mechanism have made them a leading brand in their space.

Must have tools for startups - Recommended by StartupTalky

Read more

Silicon Valley's Elite Rewrite the Aging Narrative

Beyond Digital Legacy; Silicon Valley's Elite Rewrite the Aging Narrative

Silicon Valley luminaries such as Jeff Bezos and Sam Altman have undeniably secured their places in the annals of technological history through their significant contributions in their respective domains. However, their pursuit of immortality extends beyond mere metaphorical aspirations, as evidenced by their substantial investments in longevity research. These visionary

By Nadeesh Kareemdathil, Subham Agrawal