The name sounds funny, seriously and honestly speaking the it doesn’t what the heck is a portal’s name. If it sells great products to its consumers, the name becomes a brand eventually. But nice try.
I came across this news through a colleague that Pepperfry.com has raised substantial amount of funds, maybe around end of November 2011. I never paid any attention to it till I came across some blogs covering it last 4-5 days. I was not surprised to see the amount i.e. $5 million, but the idea of the founders to do everything themselves; which pushes the delivery dates to 7-15 days in some cases.
There is a screen grab doing the rounds of some startup hero blogs (well that is what their editors think they are) which shows potpourri, high-end perfumes vagaira vagaira. So the founders who have a good academic and work-ex expect the mothers of India to buy such things online, hmmm! Are you crazy boss? How much ever you talk about customers want to touch & feel the product before buying hence we got lifestyle which are brands anyways, it wont work; it just wont W-O-R-K!
E-commerce has a good chance in India and very few people are warming up to the idea of buying things online; but again ‘very few’. The numbers that Pepperfry.com founders quote i.e. $6 billion, $1billion etc. is just hot air. Such numbers are quoted by young entrepreneurs without any idea of what they are blabbering while pitching with some cool graph copied from some government data and things like that.
Ambareesh and Ashish , you should have stayed at eBay or maybe should have delivered well for not getting fired (I don’t know the reason why you guys left so I covered both the angles).
Venture Capital funds like NVP, Battery, Greylock think this is the US of A; well it isn’t. The market seems comparable to the US (true) but the mentality of the mass in India is totally different. Think about this, maximum mobile phones GPRS users in India use it for facebook, google search and sometimes emails and that’s all. No foursquare, shorsquare or any fancy drama like the Americans do. We tweet because it is short and sweet.
Maximum percentage of the online crowd use such e-commerce sites only to compare prices, read reviews, look at the product’s photos, compare it again with sites based in the US, compare with the brick & mortar stores and then f**king buy it. Impulse buy – Not for India.
Same thing will happen with Pepperfry.com, people will use it for price search/comparison/ reviews etc. piss on it and move on. The $5million (committed of course) capital raise sounds cool on startup-hero-blogs and some coverage from wannabe news channels like Starting Up, CNBC Young Turks etc but when it comes to business, it sucks!
Pepperfry.com founders, the name is so funny (as mentioned at the start of this post) because Pepper = Mirchi and Fry = Talna; so in hindi – Ya toh aap dono ko mirchi lagegi Ya phir tal diye jaoge. Bad in both the cases.
UPDATE: Niren Shah (NVP-INDIA) was the Senior Director (Strategy & Ventures) at eBay.com before joining Norwest. So this is why NVP invested in Pepperfry,com only because the founders are ex-eBay?