India’s Craftsvilla lays off around 100 employees

Sainul Abudheen

In 2015, the ethnic products e-tailer had raised US$34 million in funding, led by existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed Venture Partners


Mumbai-based startup Kribha Handicrafts, owner of Craftsvilla, an online marketplace for ethnic products in India, has laid off nearly 100 people, according to a person aware of the development.

It is not immediately clear as to what led to the massive lay-off at the startup. An email sent to Craftsvilla Founder and CEO Manoj Gupta did not elicit any response till the time of publishing this article.

According to the source mentioned above, the overall pessimistic funding environment in India has forced the firm to lay off employees.

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Started in 2011 by Manoj and Monica Gupta, Craftsvilla is an online marketplace for handmade, vintage, ethnic, organic and natural Indian products. The firm connects local artisans and designers directly to global customers.

As of November 2015, Craftsvilla had around 3.5 million products from more than 25,000 artisans and designers. It claims it reaches over a million customers everyday through its website and mobile app.

In 2015, the company had raised US$34 million in funding, led by existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed Venture Partners. In total, it has raised a total of US$53 million since its inception. Soon after the fundraise, the had set aside about US$9.7 million to buy smaller technology businesses

In an interview in September last year, Gupta had said the firm was looking to become profitable by March 2017. It was also planning to add categories and expand to international markets.

In December last year, Craftsvilla launched a private label, called Avanya, to improve margins.

The e-commerce industry in India has been in the turmoil in the past two years. Almost all the companies operating in this segment including Snapdeal and Flipkart have been struggling to raise funding. This forced many of them to fire employees en masse.

Recently, there were reports that Snapdeal is planning to lay off 3,00o employees in the coming months. 

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