Indian online fashion retailer Yepme has raised an undisclosed amount of fundraising from Gokaldas Exports Ltd. (GEX) according to Vccircle report. However, as per Crunchbase, Yepme.com has raised $45 million from a group of investors, investors names are still undisclosed.
The company, which makes its own brand name clothes, will put the money towards brand building and the launch of an ethnic India line ahead of the festive season of Diwali.
Existing investor Helion took part in the fundraising, some sources say.The firm will use the funds for the operations of its UK entity, Yepme UK Plc which deals in fashion products exclusively for the international markets, mainly the US, Europe and the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Yepme raised Rs 4.5 crore (around $700,000) in bridge funding by issuing optionally convertible debentures to Kolkata-based Rainbow Digital Services Pvt. Ltd and Noida-based ILearnFinance Academy Pvt. Ltd, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
In September 2014, it raised $32.5 million from Helion Venture Partners II LLC, Capricorn Capital Partners and Morpheus Media Fund.
The firm was also reportedly in fundraising talks with Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank in January 2015. But the talks fell through.
Of late, the startup has been in troubled waters with mass layoffs appearing imminent and salaries getting delayed for months altogether.
Several Yepme employees alleged in February that salaries were unpaid for several months and people were being forced to resign so as to avoid payment of a proper severance package.
In February, Yepme joined e-commerce giant Amazon’s global selling programme, under which its fashion products will be sold in key European markets such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Losses at the company have been mounting, with expenditure steadily rising. In FY2015-16, VAS Data Services posted net sales of Rs 104.1 crore and a loss of Rs 183.8 crore. In FY2014-15, it registered net sales of Rs 81.4 crore and a loss of Rs 106.3 crore, according to filings with the RoC. Total expenditure rose from Rs 187.9 crore in FY2014-15 to Rs 290.3 crore in FY2015-16.
The company was founded in 2010 by Sandeep Sharma (COO and CTO), Vivek Gaur (CEO) and Anand Jadhav. Sharma is an IIM Bangalore alumnus who had previously worked at Accenture, Sapient and HCL. An IIM-Lucknow alumnus, Gaur had earlier worked at HT Media, Living Media India and Hindustan Unilever. Jadhav is also an IIM Lucknow alumnus and had previously worked at Omved Lifestyle, Reliance Retail and Infiniti Retail.
The firm’s revenues remained almost flat at around Rs 1,100 crore in the last eight years with a small dip in between. It moved from net profit of Rs 47.8 crore in the year ended March 31, 2008 to net loss of Rs 132 crore in 2011-12. It came out of the red in 2014-15 after five straight years of loss. For the year ended March 31, 2016, it clocked net sales of Rs 1,142.9 crore with a net profit of Rs 61.3 crore.