Success Story of Voonik - Personalizing The Shopping Experience More Than Ever!

There was a time when girls used to take their friends to go shopping just to have a little help in the selection process. Roundabout the same time, people were paying huge amounts to the stylists and designers to get a personalized style statement. To shift this paradigm online and optimize the whole process to being smooth and handy came in Voonik in 2013.

Startup Name Voonik
Headquarter Bangalore
Sector eCommerce
Founders Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan
Founded 2013
Website Voonik.com

About Voonik and How it Works
Founders of Voonik and team
How was Voonik Started?
Voonik - Business Model and Revenue Model
Voonik - Startup Challenges
Voonik - Competitors
Voonik - Funding and Investors
Voonik - Acquisitions
Voonik - Growth
Voonik - Awards
Voonik - Future Plans

About Voonik and How it Works

Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan launched Voonik to personalize the shopping experience for men and women. Yes! Voonik initially was for both men and women but later it decided to only focus on the female section of the society. Now, Voonik is a personal shopping app for women, allowing them to buy apparel from multiple brands and fashion stores, according to their body type, lifestyle, and budget. Voonik enables the women customers to directly do the shopping like on any other e-commerce portal or she can give some inputs like her body shape, skin tone, height, and personal style to let the application advise some dresses for her.


Also read: Success Story of FableStreet


Founders of Voonik and team

  • Sujayath Ali - Sujayth did his MBA in Technology and Finance from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering from MepcoSchlenk Engineering College. Before Voonik, he was working as VP, head of Visa Checkout merchant program at Visa. He has also worked for Amazon as a senior product manager in the states for 7 Years.
  • Navaneetha Krishnan - Before co-founding Voonik, he worked for Freshdesk as a Principal Developer, Narus Networks as Tech-Lead and Aryaka Networks as Technical Architect.
  • Voonik originally started with a 12 member team which now grew to more than 150 employees.

How was Voonik Started?

Navaneetha and Sujayath went to college together and have known each other for more than 20 years now. Navaneeth was not very new to the startup scene because he had been a garage stage engineer at big companies like Zoho, Freshdesk, and Aryaka. And as we know, the other co-founder, Sujayath was in America spending 7 years at Amazon and Visa. “We first discussed the idea of starting something together over a Facebook chat session.” Says Sujayath.

Back then, Navaneeth had an idea for a Saas offering based on his long and intriguing experience at Zoho and Freshdesk. On the other hand, Sujayath pitched an idea of creating an entirely new way of shopping to enable the users in buying what suits their build, lifestyle, and budget. The former was convinced by the idea of the latter, both quit their jobs and that’s how the idea of Voonik was germinated.

Voonik - Business Model and Revenue Model

Voonik basically is a marketplace where the retail stores register and get to showcase their products. Cutting the long story short, Voonik brings multiple online stores into a single cart. So it showcases product ranges from stores like Jabong, Snapdeal, Fashionara, Fashionandyou, Yepme, Zovi, etc. The revenue for Voonik is generated by charging a 15 percent commission on every sale to the brand or the seller. And the deliveries are done by a third-party logistics partner.

Voonik - Startup Challenges

  • Our biggest challenge for Voonik in the initial days was extremely costly shipping. It was particularly losing money on every shipment. And so the venture decided to work on projects where the team observed shipping across each category and eventually came up with the right algorithms through permutations and combinations to make shipments more cost-efficient. And soon after, Voonik had a 20% gross margin on shipping.
  • The second-biggest cost driver for Voonik was marketing. Apparently, to save recurring overheads, it stopped focusing on traditional channels like Facebook and Google. Instead, Voonik approached innovative channels for marketing to make money immediately. One of these initiatives was referral programs that allowed Voonik to make money from the very first transaction.

Also read: How to Start an Ecommerce Business in 2020


Voonik - Competitors

Online fashion space is as crowded as it can get. New players are coming in now and then. And now with Instagram and its buzz, it has become very easy for people to sell fashion apparel online. Given that, there’s so much out there happening in the online fashion zone. Be it creative concepts like style cracker who customly assigns stylists to its customers to make a box of accessories paired with the dress or be it bag fashion portals like Myntra and Shein, all of these along with Voonik are competing neck to neck to cater to the same audience.

Voonik - Funding and Investors

  • After only one year of inception, in February 2014, Voonik received INR 2.5 crores in seed money from SeedFund.
  • And again in 2015, it received series-A funding from Sequoia Capital and SeedFund of $5 million (approximately Rs. 32 crores).
  • It is said that between 2013 and 2016, Voonik in totality raised close to $27 Mn funding from varied investors like Sequoia Capital, Times Internet, Seedfund, Beenos, BEENEXT, Parkwood Bespin, Tancom Investments, and Kunal Shah.

Voonik - Acquisitions

  • Voonik acqui-hired TrialKart in 2015. TrailKart is a mobile platform providing a virtual dressing room experience to the users.
  • In 2016, Voonik acquired Getsty which is a personalized shopping portal for men,
  • In June 2016, Voonik stepped into the premium e-commerce segment by launching Vilara.
  • In September of the same year, Voonik undertook an acquisition of Dekkoh which was a personalization and styling app.
  • Voonik did not stop here. It has also acqui-hired three startups, Zohraa, Picksilk.com, and Style, to further build the platform and taking it deep towards personalization by adding more and more personal stylists and connecting them with its users through a chat-based app.

Voonik - Growth

  • Voonik had over 10,000 downloads in the first month with an average rating of 4.7.
  • Today, it has over 20 Mn registered users
  • Total 17 million application downloads
  • Close to 2 million unique visitors per month
  • Displays more than 15 Lakh products from 22,000 sellers.
  • Caters to an average of 20,000 daily orders
  • Currently has a rating of 4.1 at Google Play Store.

Voonik - Awards

  • In 2014. Voonik was amongst the Microsoft Ventures India’s list of 16 startups for its summer batch of the accelerator program.

Also read: Success Story of PostFold


Voonik - Future Plans

Voonik is in big plans of taking onboard offline boutiques and launching chat-based features. Currently, the app is only giving recommendations to the customers, but the users are not able to chat with the stylists. Hence their main priority in the long term plan is to take personalization to the highest level on Voonik.

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About Vidhi Punamiya

  • Mumbai
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