Info-tech

Pepperfry looking to acquire a VR tech start-up to elevate customer experience

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on September 23, 2019 Published on September 23, 2019

Opens its second largest warehouse in Bengaluru

Online furniture and home products marketplace, Pepperfry is looking to acquire a Virtual Reality (VR) technology start-up that will elevate customer experience substantially and enable quicker decision making.

“With VR technology, customers will be able to enter digitally rendered versions of their own homes in virtual reality and furnish and decorate their homes, by selecting products from Pepperfry’s extensive furniture and home décor catalogue and placing them one by one in each room” Ambareesh Murty, founder and CEO at Pepperfry told BusinessLine on the sidelines of the launch of the company’s second largest warehouse in Bengaluru on Friday.

The company which expects to turn profitable next month, opened a tech-led, built-to-suit, home and furniture warehouse in Hoskote, Bengaluru , spread across 3.6 lakh sq ft to cater to growing demand in its largest market – South India, that contributes to 45 per cent of its overall business, led by Bengaluru.

“We have not invested in the land or the warehouse which was built-to-suit by Gokaldas Warehousing Corporation in a record 7 months. We have taken it on a long lease term and have invested around $2 million in the warehouse equipment like racking, automation etc, excluding employee costs. Our next big warehouse will come up in Delhi/NCR and in Orissa or West Bengal” said Murty.

With an order processing capacity of 1,000 orders per day and storage capacity of up to 30,000 units of inventory, the warehouse is one of Pepperfry’s three mother hubs located along the highway to allow hassle-free movement of products and vehicles. The other two mother hubs are in Mumbai and Gurugram.

On whether the slowdown in the consumer goods and retail sectors had affected Pepperfry’s growth in the last few months and its impact on the furniture business in the next few quarters, Murty said, “Our business is growing like a rocketship. We are growing faster today than we were growing last year, we are making higher margins than last year and the way things are going, we will break even as soon as next month. We are exceeding all our business plan projections, therefore, I see no slowdown in our business at all.”

Pepperfry sold around 1.2 million products and delivered around 3,500 orders a day last year and expects this to grow by at least 50 per cent this year. It has over 5 million customers and delivers to 500 cities pan India. Murty said, if the market conditions are right, the company will go in for an IPO in 14 - 15 months from now.

Founded in January 2012, Pepperfry has raised $197.5 million so far and is backed by Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann India Investments, Zodius Capital, State Street Global Advisors and Norwest Venture Partners.

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Published on September 23, 2019
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