Investment to drive increased customer acquisition for unified commerce
23 December 2015, Bangalore, India: Caravan Evolved Craft, a premium retail brand focused on handcrafted apparel and accessories, announced a new round of capital, raised from leading investors including Unitus Seed Fund. The company is planning to use the additional funds to increase customer acquisition across its flagship stores, franchise network, e-commerce and m-commerce channels. This fresh infusion takes the total amount of equity raised by the company to Rs 12 crore. Alongside, it has raised debt of Rs 14 crore from National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) from a total project sanction of Rs 42 crore.
As part of this drive to reach a wider customer base, Caravan recently opened an experience store at the 1 MG mall in Bangalore, with curated collections and displays leading to enhanced customer experience and more informed purchases. Caravan launched its first store at Phoenix Market City in Bangalore and since has expanded into Pune, Mumbai and will soon be in Chennai as well. The brand has also started its international foray with a Switzerland store. The brand’s web store was launched beginning December and has already started showing a steady growth in traffic over the past few weeks.
Commenting on the company’s vision and future plans, Kunal Sachdev, CEO, Caravan Craft says, “We believe in this new category of “Evolved Indic Craft” where we re-engineer traditional processes to create products for a modern, fashion-conscious consumer across “unified commerce” channels. The key focus for our brand is customer experience and this has resulted in the high conversion rate at the stores, which is currently more than 35% of walk-ins. The brand has witnessed a 300% growth in sales from April till October this year. We are confident that this aggressive growth phase is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as acceptance and familiarity with the brand increases both in India and globally.”
The estimated market size of crafted items in India alone is about USD 8.3 billion (Rs 50,000 crore) and the sector provides livelihoods for over 10 crore (105M) artisans. However, in recent times, the industry has found it difficult to keep up with the design and aesthetic demands of today’s customers. Caravan aims to bridge this gap by working with traditional artisans to create lifestyle products for the contemporary customer. The focus is on bringing functionality to traditional Indian art and crafts by providing a high-end, branded product to the consumer and by protecting the livelihoods of Indian artisans. The firm aims to train more than 30,000 artisans by year 2017.
Commenting on the fundraise, Unitus Seed Fund Lead Partner Srikrishna Ramamoorthy added, “Caravan Evolved Craft continues to drive impressive growth and impact with its focus on deep design intervention aided by technology integration, investment in product development and artisan training and management experience in scaling up and building a global brand around specialty retail.”
About Caravan Evolved Craft Private Limited
Caravan Evolved Craft Private Limited owns the brand Caravan and is a company based out of Bangalore. Caravan is creating a market for products with significant craft content that combine practicality and aesthetic appeal. The company is working to bridge the gap between the rich reservoir of traditional Indian craftsmanship and the evolving needs of contemporary living. In so doing, it seeks to revive a diverse and glorious artistic heritage and aims to protect the livelihood of artisans. Caravan Evolved Craft Private Limited is an NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) partner. More about Caravan >
About Unitus Seed Fund
Unitus Seed Fund (USF) is an early-stage venture fund investing in startups in India, which serve large, underserved low-income populations. USF plans to invest in 30-40 startups in sectors including skill development, agriculture, distribution/retail, healthcare, education and other basic necessities. USF is part of the Unitus Group, a successful financial services group operating in multiple emerging markets. USF has offices in Bangalore and Seattle.
More about Unitus Seed Fund >