The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has approved the single brand retail trade (SBRT) licence to online furniture marketplace Urban Ladder. The move will allow the company to build a strong offline presence in the country.
Urban Ladder CEO Ashish Goel hailed the decision as encouraging one. “It will help us at Urban Ladder build a brand that can pursue its ambitions as well as help shape the economy impactfully,” he said. The licence will offer the firm more flexibility with its designs and product sourcing.
The company had applied for a single brand licence in September 2016. Urban Ladder launched its first experience center in Bengaluru earlier this year.
Earlier in Feb, Urban Ladder has raised Rs102 crore from existing investors at a time when the company is seeking to evolve into a brand and build a strong offline presence through brick and mortar stores.
The firm was founded in 2012 by Ashish Goel and Rajiv Srivatsa, Urban Ladder had raised $77 million in equity funding from Kalaari Capital, Sequoia Capital, SAIF Partners, Steadview Capital, TR Capital and Tata Sons interim chairman Ratan Tata, and $3 million in venture debt from Trifecta Capital.
The company posted revenue of Rs 98 crore last fiscal, a nearly four-fold increase from Rs 25 crore in the year-ago period, while losses stood at Rs 154 crore, as against Rs 80 crore in 2014-15.
The company has also listed its products on online marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart.
It posted a threefold increase in losses for the year ended 31 March 2016 on account of higher employee and advertising expenses, while revenue from operations increased about two-and-a-half times. However, the firm aims to set up more stores across the country and eyes to be profitable in the next 18-20 months.
Urban Ladder competes with Pepperfry and Livspace.
Pepperfry, is considered the most well-funded home-grown online furniture start-up with $159 million investment. It had posted higher revenues and lower losses than Urban Ladder in 2015-16.