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How Craftsvilla has become the biggest online store for ethnic fashion in India

Craftsvilla Founders - Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta
Craftsvilla Founders – Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta

Online shopping has slowly proceeded into our lives to become an integral part of it. Internet giants like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. have become a typical household term because of the service it provides. From fashion to home necessities, every moment you want something, you can just look it up on the Internet to find amazing deals. Among all other products available on the internet, fashion stands tall as the one that has the most demand. For men, women, and kids, various shopping sites provide the latest trends in clothes, footwear, accessories – you name it. As the needs became more specific, multiple companies have started focusing on particular styles such as Western, traditional, formals, etc. Craftsvilla is one such platform in India that offers the most extensive collection of ethnic wear.

Craftsvilla (1) was founded by Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta in 2011. They have the biggest collection of sarees, kurtas, salwar, lehengas, jewelry, and also ethnic wear for men. Even though we have become accustomed to western fashion, we all love to go traditional at times. It reminds us of our roots and adds a touch of elegance to our style. The merchandises of Craftsvilla are specially designed to provide comfort, style, and dignity all in one. It is a perfect blend of trendy fashion and the priceless culture of our country. Craftsvilla delivers the pleasure of being able to search through the latest trends in ethnic fashion from the comfort of your home.

The business model of Craftsvilla is aimed at bringing together talented dressmakers and artisans from all around the country. They hope to empower the ancestral form of dressmaking by providing a platform for these skilled workers. Without a mediator, Craftsvilla directly collaborates with them and hopes to bring more honor to our traditional values and culture. The business value of the company is considered to be between 300 and 500 million dollars. Currently, the Craftsvilla app has more than 5 million downloads. They have employed more than 25,000 crafters, and more than four million products have been delivered.

Various styles at Craftsvilla

Craftsvilla strives to provide complete satisfaction for the customers by bringing traditional fashion to their fingertips. The team continually follows the latest trends while also considering the customer’s preference when creating their merchandise. The process of stitching is given particular care so that you do not have to compromise on comfort to look beautiful. Their vast range of collection helps you to find all that you are looking for. A wedding, a family get-together, or a festivity, Craftsvilla covers all these occasions with their beautiful assortment of apparel. The most popular among them are :

  • An impressive collection of sarees that caters to all kinds of needs and occasions. Craftvilla has series in cotton, satin, georgette, art silk, etc. and in varieties like Kanjivaram, Banarasi, Uppada silk, printed, embroidered, designer sarees and more.
  • Craftsvilla has an array of gowns that brings the perfect blend of modern and traditional. These are suitable for any occasion and can make you stand out from any crowd.
  • They have Kurtis of all kinds from casual to highly traditional. Craftsvilla believes that Kurti in ethnic fashion is parallel to T-shirts in the modern style. Most women in India have made Kurti a part of their everyday life. At the same time, a beautifully embroidered or embellished kurta can make you the star of any party. You can find Kurtis ranging between both these extremes at Craftsvilla.
  • They have the newest sensations in lehengas that have the power to steal your heart. Sometimes, the function you are going to attend may be too simple for a saree, but a Kurti would make you feel underdressed. Lehengas will surely come to rescue you from the confusion. The best thing about lehengas is that there is a lot of room to experiment with different patterns. It is the favorite ethnic fashion attire of young fashionistas. Craftsvilla has a variety of styles in lehenga such as net lehenga chills, bridal lehengas, and designer lehenga sets.
  • Craftsvilla also has an exquisite assortment of jewelry that becomes the cherry on top of your ethnic wear. They have the most modest and casual accessories to heavy statement pieces made in silver, oxidized, or even gold plated.

From the beginning

Craftsvilla Founders - Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta
Craftsvilla Founders – Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta

Manoj Gupta, the founder, and CEO of Craftsvilla had been a venture capitalist when the idea of an online marketplace for ethnic fashion dawned upon him. He established the company along with Monica Gupta with the help of a ten crore funding received from a series A round led by Nexus Venture Partners and Lightspeed Ventures. They brought together 80 employees across five offices in the country, and the headquarters was located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

However, they brought about some missteps in the beginning, and the initial funding was soon depleted. Craftsvilla was forced to stop business at 4 of their branches, and a large number of employees were let off. By the end of 2012, they had to make some changes in their business strategy to hold on. In the years 2013 and 2014, they had received no funding but gained a 6 percent growth every month. Craftsvilla is one of the few startups in India to survive that long in the initial stages without any funding. Their growth rate had reached 10 percent by the year 2016, and the company was able to hire close to 200 workers.

Partnerships and Acquisitions

Craftsvilla has initiated an online marketplace for handloom creations to aid small scale weavers. For this purpose, they have entered into a collaboration with the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. Craftsvilla also has a partnership with Weavesmart, an online business that delivers handloom products to many cities in India. In February 2016, Craftsvilla had acquired Sendd, a shipping service provider to make their logistics proceedings strong and smooth. Soon in the same year, they bought PlaceOfOrigin, an online company that brings together Indian regional foods. Craftsvilla has also acquired F2SO4, an online rental platform that specializes in women’s fashion.

Investments and Fundings

The seed funding for Craftsvilla was led by Nexus Venture Partners and Lightspeed Ventures in 2011. They conducted a series B round of investment in April 2015, which raised an amount of 18 million dollars.

This round saw active participation from Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, Global Founders Capital, and Apoletto. Later in the same year, a Series C round was led by the existing investors, which raised 34 million dollars. After a few venture rounds of funding in 2019 and 2020, the total investment received by Craftsvilla is 62.7 million dollars.