E-commerce startup Fab.com has upped its focus on India after it took a ‘seven figure’ investment from Times Internet, the Web business of the country’s largest media firm. The deal is part of strategic partnership that will see the two companies work together.
Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg announced the news on his blog — via NextBigWhat — saying that the two will “explore and execute on our India market strategy in the coming years”. The deal comes after Fab.com bought long-time partner True Sparrow, a Pune, India-based e-commerce startup last month.
The Fab.com service is not yet live in India but the support of Times Internet, which is run by The Times of India Group, is likely to be key. Not only does its parent group run some of the country’s most influential media outlets, but it is headed up by rising star Satyan Gajwani, who Goldberg says “fostered” the deal.
“I have been working with Satyan for several months now and he been super impressive with his approach to innovating and growing technology businesses in India,” the Fab.com CEO explains. “I’m excited to work with him and his team as Fab explores the India market further.”
Fab.com is on a roll. The startup racked up more than $6.5 million of product sales in the final week of November, notching a 300 percent increase on a year previous, and it has more than 10 million members. The firm is also well backed, it has raised more than $150 million from investors and its recent series C round saw Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, Japan’s Docomo Capital, Atomico and others put in $105 million. Much of that is being spent on internationalizing its service, which is now available in more than 25 countries, and Asia is among the regions that it is keen to expand into.
With its huge population, India is an obvious choice for any Internet firm but its e-commerce market is developing rapidly too. The country recently held its first dedicated Internet shopping day — the Google-organized 12/12/12 bonanza — and, with homegrown companies like Flipkart emerging and global giants like Amazon launching services, India is becoming a lucrative market.
Aged under 30 and tech-savvy, Gajwani is bringing significant changes to The Times — making acquisitions, investments and opening an accelerator — and that is embodied by this deal. Times Internet has also closed a number of others investments today — including a deal with 500 Startups-backed Zipdial — all of which are outlined on the company’s blog.
If you’re interested in more details on Gajwani, check out this Quora answer he wrote in response to questions about his job, youth and family connections — he is married to the daughter of Samir Jain, Vice-Chairman of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., parent company of The Times of India. He’s also very active on Twitter: @satyangajwani.
Image via 401(K) 2012 / Flickr