Kishore Biyani hasn’t been coy about his disdain for online retail. The owner of the Future group, India’s largest brick-and-mortar retail chain, had once predicted that none of the online grocers will survive, and Brand Factory, his clothing chain, has recently run ads asking people to go offline. But as far as home furnishings is concerned, Biyani seems to think that online is the way to go.
The Future Group has just acquired FabFurnish.com, which was one of India’s first home and furnishing online stores. “We will leverage FabFurnish’s online platform and delivery model to grow our presence in markets where we do not have offline stores or have minimal reach,” said Biyani.
While the details of the acquisition were not immediately revealed, Future Group could’ve paid Rs. 15-20 crore for the company, Livemint reported. Future Group will retain FabFurnish’s brand and will use the online platform to take Home Town, its own brand, online.
FabFurish’s acquisition marks the first exit for a Rocket Internet company in India. Most of Rocket Internet’s India’s portfolio has had a rocky few months. Foodpanda has fired 300 employees and been at the center of a corruption scandal, and Jabong has seen several management shakeups over the last year. FabFurnish too wasn’t without its share of controversy – its founders had quit to launch their own venture, and it had fired 50 people as a part of a business restructuring.
While FabFurnish has raised over $30 million (Rs. 180 crore) from Rocket Internet and Kinnevik, its sale price of Rs. 20 crore might be an indication of things to come in the Indian startup scene.