Online home furniture brand Urban Ladder is scouting for acquisitions in the home décor and lighting categories to augment its core product offering, as it embarks on a journey of transformation into a digitally native, omni-channel consumer brand in home furniture and décor, according to a media report.
A top executive from the start-up which turns five next week, told BusinessLine, that the company is willing to invest up to $20-25 million to buy the right firm.
Urban Ladder opened its flagship 7,500-sq-ft experience store in Bengaluru on Friday, which was initially slated to be its first single brand retail store. However, the company is yet to receive approval for a single brand retail licence from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
Meanwhile, plans are on to set up 10 more experience stores by March 2018 in Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Pune. The first brand experience store spanning 3,500 sq ft located within the start-ups’ office premises went live last October and served as the test bed for the flagship store launch. Urban Ladder also opened a 600-sq-ft sofa lounge two months ago to showcase sofas, its largest selling category, which the start-up claims is garnering 10 times the business of other stores in the neighbourhood.
“We are among the top three furniture brands in the country within five years of inception and will become the largest furniture and home décor brand in the next 12 months. We are investing $12 million-$15 million over the next 18 months in offline (physical) retail expansion, by which time we will also be cash positive,” said Ashish Goel, co-founder and CEO, Urban Ladder.
“We have been on the lookout to acquire companies in the décor and lighting categories as they constitute under 5 per cent of our offering, and are willing to go up to $20 million-$25 million if we find what we are looking for,” added Goel.
The big area of focus for Urban Ladder this fiscal is to expand its offline brand experience store footprint, while it sets its sights on achieving 60 per cent y-o-y growth. “On the technology side, we are investing in improving product discovery, overall customer experience and setting up an in-store Virtual Reality experience zone that will change the way furniture is sold,” said Rajiv Srivatsa, co-founder and COO, Urban Ladder.
With 2,300 products in the mass premium segment and 35 categories, including sofas, beds, dining tables, storage shelves and décor, Urban Ladder delivers to 22 cities across the country. The start-up has raised $92 million in equity funding and $3 million in venture debt and is looking to raise a further $30 million over the next 3-6 months.