It is no mystery that cashback and coupon platforms have benefited from the growth of online shopping. Startups operating in this industry are gaining popularity not just because of affiliation and brand recognition but due to customer engagement.
One such startup CashKaro has registered an over two fold year-on-year growth with operating revenue of Rs 216.22 crore in the last fiscal year, but this came alongside heightened expenses.
The Swati and Rohan Bhargava-led company scaled 2.19X to Rs 216.22 crore in FY22 from Rs 98.33 crore in FY21, according to their annual financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.
CashKaro promises the best deals, price comparisons, coupons and cashback to their members and offers data-driven solutions to online shoppers and currently has a claimed count of 20 million user base in India.
Coming to revenue bifurcation, commission received from the brand owners to list their products on CashKaro contributed 90% of the total operating revenue while 10% of the collection came from the advertisements, the company said in response to queries sent by Entrackr.
“Consumer electronics items such as fridge, AC, television, wearables, and others were the largest revenue collector products due to its high ticket size followed by fashion, beauty, and wellness,” they added.
They further said that the commission for affiliation on B2C products goes up to 20-25% while for grocery, fashion and electronics that number stood at 5-8%, 5-15% and 1-5%, respectively. The company is also eyeing opportunities with banks, edtech, pharma supplies and other diagnostics startups.
The Ratan-Tata-backed firm has other income mainly from interest on fixed deposits which increased 7.9% to Rs 1.5 crore in the previous fiscal year.
Being a cashback and reward company, cashback provided to the customers was the largest cost center for it, forming 60.4% of the overall expenditure. This cost surged by 96.7% to Rs 140.41 crore in FY22 from Rs 71.39 crore in FY21.
With the launch of various promotional campaigns, advertisement costs for the company grew 3.23X to Rs 47.74 crore in FY22. As the company achieved significant scale, it hired more people in the team, which led to the employee benefit expenses increasing 63.6% to Rs 19.55 crore in FY22.
The company added another Rs 9.04 crore and Rs 1.97 crore as store service and legal professional fees which catalyzed the overall expenditure of the firm by 118.2% to Rs 232.57 crore in FY22 from Rs 106.59 crore in FY21.
With over Rs 200 crore in revenue, CashKaro’s losses surged over 2X to Rs 14.85 crore during the last fiscal year, which looks under control given the rise in revenue.
Moving over to the ratios, the ROCE and EBITDA margin of the company registered at -27.28% and -6.68% during FY22. On a unit level, the company spent Rs 1.08 to earn a single unit of operating revenue.
CashKaro directly competes with Grabon and Coupon Duniya. While Grabon registered a revenue of Rs 8.18 crore in FY22 and Coupon Dunia recorded only Rs 20 lakhs in revenue in the fiscal year.
In the ever evolving world of ecommerce, the whole coupon and cashback segment hangs on to the ecommerce whale, doing well as long as they do not grow too large or threaten the majors in any way. However, this is a business that might have the occasional high margin segment, but overall margins simply cannot climb too high due to market pressures. Future winners will be decided on how they manage and use the precious customer data they hold, to build stronger moats in key product categories or even with specific product firms. Achieving breakeven, if it happens in FY23, will be no time to rest or relax for the founders.