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Ratan Tata funded fashion startup shuts shop

Kaaryah is a Gurgaon – based online fashion platform for women. The Ratan Tata-funded startup had shut down yesterday (19/12/2017) owing to a financial crisis after being operational for nearly three years since 2014. Read more on Closures

Commenting on the development, Kaaryah’s founder and CEO, Nidhi Agarwal said, “It was not sudden. We have been trying to raise funds for the last eighteen months. We had broken even twice in thirty months. Honestly, my aspiration for the brand was to take it to US $15.6 million (Rs. 100 crores) revenues within 4-5 years of having started it. It looked very realistic should we have received normal amounts of funding, given that we were a very capital efficient and working capital-light company. But fact of the matter is that nobody is looking to fund anything right now”!

 

Another sad fact is that all of Kaaryah’s employees have been asked to leave as the startup is shutting down. When the startup was functional, it employed around sixty people. However, the silver lining in the dark cloud for Kaaryah’s employees is that they were given two months’ notice period and were also given references regarding where they could join next. Nidhi Agarwal herself is currently working as a consultant for startups that are looking to build their own brands!

Kaaryah was launched in 2014 and was a data analytics-driven online fashion portal that sold western-wear outfits to women in India. Mostly urban – working women were the startup’s customers. Around 18 dress sizes were available for women to choose in the startup’s technology platform (mobile app and website).

The other Indian startups to shut down recently were the home furnishing startup, Zimply, which shut down due to a financial crisis in July 2016. The food tech startup, Yumist, shut down in September 2017 as it failed to raise sufficient funds from investors and VC firms to scale up. The IoT-based, Mobile technology Startup, Cube26 Pvt. Ltd. shut down in March 2017 due to lack of demand for its product. The online home-renting platform, Stayzilla, shut down in February 2017 as it was unable to compete with established players in the segment like 99acres.com or NestAway. The e-commerce portal, Snapdeal, shut down in February 2017 as it was unable to raise fresh funds for scaling up. The home service startup, Taskbob, shut down in January 2017 as it failed to raise investments for scaling up just to name a few. The Government of India should set up more Government funded organizations and develop the startup ecosystem in the country so that the startups in India can be funded, incubated, mentored and can get easy access to funds or technical know-hows quicker than they get access now. A lot of startups in India are failing these days mainly due to lack of funding and little/no access to know hows regarding their respective domains. I personally feel that Ratan Tata could have funded a promising startup like Kaaryah more and prevented its closure. Read more on Startup News

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Ratan Tata funded fashion startup shuts shop
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