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Used Books Marketplace AbeRuk Raises Angel Funding from Hong Kong Based Swastika

Other recent investments of Swastika Company include Gurgaon-based on-demand concierge startup Qlivery, restaurant deals startup Pocketin and Gurgaon-based beauty and wellness startup Stylofie.

AbeRuk, a six-month old e-commerce startup, has raised an undisclosed amount in Angel funding from a Hong Kong-based company Swastika Company Limited. AbeRuk run by Quarto India Internet Pvt. Ltd. is an online marketplace for used books. At present, the startup is operational in Bangalore and has more than 100 sellers listed on their platform.

Based out of Bangalore, AbeRuk works as a marketplace in the fragmented Used Books market. They also onboard publishers & distributors for new books, so that customer gets wide variety of books and for the same title customer get both used & new books version.

“I am an avid book reader, and finding books at dirt cheap price where I buy book every week was always a problem for me because of lack of any such organized online platform,” said Sidharth Shankar, Founder, AbeRuk.

Funds raised will be utilized to expand the team and add customers & sellers. The team believes technology is the heart of the business and thus, a substantial amount of the current fund-raise will be used to improve the technology stack, including implementation at operations level to increase efficiency and quickly respond to the market," added Sidharth.

He declined to disclose the amount the startup raised.

Used Books marketplace AbeRuk was founded in December 2015 by Sidharth Shankar, an ex-Toyota Lean consultant along with his school friend Sidharth Kumar, an ex- Schneider Electric and Business Management graduate from Ecole de Management, France who handles growth & finance. The company has inventory of more than 1 Lakh titles from more than 100 sellers. With 200 publishers on board, AbeRuk is likeably to become India’s only Books platform.

The Problem:

Set out to find more about used books space. They carried out a short customer survey only to realize that there were many more people who buy books frequently but don’t want to go for new books as either they aren’t sure about the new author they are buying or whether the books will be just lying on the book self. Ultimately they don’t want to invest in new books and the same went for students where they don’t want to burden on pocket.

“If you look closely at used books market, you will realize that it is primarily offline & fragmented with areas like Avenue Road in Bangalore or Daryaganj in New Delhi and every other city has a similar book nook. From a consumer perspective, think about poor access to these areas. A student studying in a college in the outskirts of Bangalore will not visit Avenue Road after travelling 2-3 hours in traffic and just to realize that the title he/she was looking is not available. It’s frustrating and at even when it is available there goes a whole lot of bargain process. – all pain-points which called out for a solution,” adds Sidharth Shankar.

As the team warmed up around the idea, they started spending time in different book markets to observe consumer behavior. They saw customers bargaining for discounts with the book shops, often ending up paying higher. Customers were often hesitant to visit these areas because they were not aware of the stock availability, prices or the quality in advance.

From the book seller perspective, there was a different set of problems altogether – due to customer moving online, foot falls has reduced in these offline book markets and no organized platform available in India to sell used books. Also due to low foot fall in their stores, inventory carrying cost of the sellers has exponentially increased and has affected their lifestyle. The problem set was no different for new book sellers as well.

The company says it is working on two key aspects of used books buying— cost and quality of products sold. It claims to have sold books at 90 percent discount from more than 20 sellers through different campaigns.

“To quickly respond in the fragmented used books market and keep the cost low, part of the funding will go towards technology. Remaining funds will be used for growing our base of sellers and growing social media reach,” Shankar added.

Other recent investments of Swastika Company include Gurgaon-based on-demand concierge startup Qlivery, restaurant deals startup Pocketin and Gurgaon-based beauty and wellness startup Stylofie.


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India Startups India Funding AbeRuk angel funding Swastika

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