Exclusive: Zovi and Inkfruit Merge. Another shotgun wedding?

Update: Zovi has officially confirmed the news. Yeah, they have acquired Inkfruit.

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Two of the leading players in the e-commerce space, Zovi and Inkfruit today announced the closing of a merger between them. This merger will bring together India’s 2 leading online fashion private label brands. In addition to this, Zovi today also announced their 3rd big round of funding wherein it raised $10m from two of its lead investors, SAIF Partners and Tiger Global. This round brings the total funding raised in Zovi to $25m and is strong evidence of the investor’s belief in the market opportunity and the Zovi team.

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Another day. Another shotgun wedding in the Indian ecommerce world. Consolidation in the sector which raked up hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital in the last three years seems inevitable, as the gravy runs out. zovi_inkfruit inkfruit

The latest proposition, is to get Bangalore based online retailer Zovi and Mumbai based Inkfruit to merge. NextBigWhat has learned from sources that the two companies are in advanced talks for a possible merger.

Two sources familiar with the matter told NBW that SAIF partners, a common investor in both companies, has been considering merging the two of the portfolio companies.

Earlier this month, we reported about a possible merger between Fashionandyou and Pepperfry. Gurgaon based online retailer Fashionandyou owned by the Smile Group is in advanced talks for a possible merger with Pepperfry, the Mumbai based e-commerce marketplace backed by Norwest Venture Partners.

One of the sources mentioned that its a confirmed deal and will be announced shortly, however, it is not clear who is acquiring whom. In our view Zovi appears to be on a stronger footing compared to Inkfruit and its likely that the latter will merge into the former.

NextBigWhat spoke to Monappa N, Chief Marketing Officer, Zovi, who did not confirm the deal. “We have a common investor SAIF Partners and investors keep talking about things,” said Monappa.

Zovi was started in 2011 with $5.5 million series A round of funding raised from SAIF and a group of angel investors, including Makemytrip founder, Deep Kalra. Later in 2012, Zovi raised $10 million in its second round of funding led by Tiger Global and SAIF Partners.

Inkfruit was started in late 2007 by Kashyap Dalal and Navneet Rai, batchmates from IIT Bombay. Inkfruit had raised $5 million in Series A from SAIF Partners in 2011 and Inkfruit has been trying to raise series B from past 8-10 months. However the Mumbai based company was unable to secure next round of funding (Series B), which has all but dried up for e-commerce in 2012.

As of now, only 30% funded eCommerce companies have managed to raise series B and given that both companies are private labels, there are synergies that will add value to both.

If the deal goes through, Zovi will have access of Inkfruit’s expertise of creating personalized design across T-shirts, flip-flops, Sling bags, laptop skins, etc.

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