The pandemic wreaked havoc on businesses across the board. The scale of unicorns such as Ola and growth-stage companies including Beardo and Ustraa shrunk during this period. A similar impact can also be seen on local discovery and e-commerce platform Little Black Book (LBB).
Little Black Book’s operating revenue shrank 40.97% to Rs 8.63 crore in FY21 from Rs 14.62 crore in FY20. The sale of service (majorly commission or platform fee) contributed 92% of the total collection in LBB and the remaining 8% came from the e-commerce business.
Started as a Tumblr blog and side-project by Suchita Salwan in 2012, LBB is a two side facing marketplace for unique lifestyle products. The company claims to serve 22 million users across eight cities and has 10,000 merchants on its platform.
With a sharp reduction in scale, the company’s expenses also dropped by 44.95% to Rs 21.89 crore in FY21 from 39.77 crore in the preceding fiscal.
Employee benefit cost has emerged as the largest burn for the company in FY21 as it spent 66% of the total expenses—Rs 14.4 crore—on salaries and remunerations. Advertisement and sales promotion is the second major expenditure for LBB which shrank 78.39% to 2.83 crore in FY21 from 13.1 crore in FY20.
On the back of a sharp fall in expenses, LBB has managed to cut losses 46% to Rs 12.76 crore in FY21 from 23.66 crore in FY20 when compared. On a unit level, the company has spent Rs 2.54 to earn a rupee of operating revenue.
Akin to other businesses, LBB’ scale is likely to bounce back in the ongoing fiscal (FY22). The company had also jointly launched an accelerator for merchants Basecamp with RPSG Capital. The initiative offers capital and mentoring to merchants who are looking to build and scale online sales channels.
While LBB financial performance in FY21 has been far from being healthy, it’s quite similar to other growth-stage startups. As of now, the company has mopped up around $8 million from Blume Ventures, Chiratae and Dream Incubator.