Sequoia invests in recommerce start-up Zefo

07 Dec 2016

Bengaluru-based used-goods marketplace Zefo (at raised $6 million U.S. in a series A funding round led by venture capital firm Sequoia India. Others who participated in this round included Beenext, and existing investor Helion Venture Partners.

Beenext is also invested in auto site Droom, real estate site NoBroker and job site WorkIndia.

The funds will be used to expand the start-up’s services in Mumbai Delhi, the company informed.

Zefo is a marketplace for two categories of used goods: appliances and furniture. With a presence in Bengaluru, Mysore, Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida and Mumbai, the classifieds site deals in televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and microwaves in the appliances category, and beds, sofas, wardrobes, dining tables, etc. in the furniture category.

Rohit Ramasubramanian, co-founder of Zefo (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

Founded in August 2015 by Rohit Ramasubramanian, a former Helion Venture executive, Karan Gupta and Himesh Joshi and Arjit Gupta, the 150-strong team of Zefo seeks to establish trust and convenience among buyers and sellers of used goods in India.

Secondhand, household goods is a highly fragmented market opportunity worth up to $40 to 50 billion U.S. per year in India. Furniture, appliances and consumer electronics comprise the three main categories.

Zefo started with furniture, later added appliances and now plans to trade in consumer goods. Growing at a scorching pace of 40 percent month-on-month, according to Ramasubramanian (here) in Live Mint. Since its launch, the start-up has served 30,000-plus customers, selling 400 to 500 products on average every day!

Unlike OLX and Quikr, where buyers and sellers meet to transact directly with each other, Zefo buys second-hand goods from sellers, refurbishes and puts them on sale on its site for more than it bought them. This gives Zefo complete control over the inventory. To buyers, the start-up offers different ways of paying: cash on delivery, or easy exchanges.

Apart from serving individual buyers and sellers, Zefo also works as a factory-rejects marketplace for Flipkart, AtHome and HomeTown, and a few offline players.

A few early entrants into the recommerce market include Snapdeal’s mobile app Shopo, that caters for both b-to-b and b-to-c used and new goods. Droom, specialized in used autos, and since only recently in new autos (our report here).

E-commerce major Amazon invested more money in used books through its Indian subsidiary Junglee (our report here), and fashion mobile app Elanic entered the used-goods space.


Radhika Sachdev

Radhika Sachdev is a journalist who has held senior editorial positions with major Indian newspaper banners. She has over 20 years of experience in the profession, covering Advertising, Marketing, Media, Education, HR, Real Estate and Environment beats. She is also a partner and chief content developer for Write Solutions, a boutique content house she founded eight years ago, signifying her diversification from journalism to copywriting and media consultancy.