Financial Express: June 6, 2016

Lifestyle and fashion shopping is more of an experience. According to a recent Google India-AT Kearney study, in lifestyle shopping which is set to overtake consumer electronics as the largest online shopping category by 2020, the lack of ‘touch and feel’ for a product is one of the top three key deterrent for customers to shop online.

Fashalot, a fashion store discovery platform, which started in April 2015 by Amit Koshal, Rishi Batra, and Amit Sharma, is bridging this gap of online-offline shopping, by extending an option to the customers to walk into the actual stores, see and experience the product themselves before buying. The company aims to increase footfalls for the offline stores with an omni-channel presence, while giving consumers the benefit of cashbacks and discounts while shopping at the store through Fashalot App. All that one has to do is, press the ‘check-in’ button on the app upon entering the store and they upload the purchase bill to get cashbacks and offers.

Amit Koshal, CEO and founder at Fashalot said, “The margins (commission) in the fashion category is high and sometime it goes upto 25%. We are very strong in unit economics and are profitable at select locations.” E-commerce firms burn cash, as they not only have to support the discounts, but also incur other costs like inventory, logistics and many more. “Instead, we facilitate shopping at our partner stores, for which we get paid and we pass cashback from our commission,” he said.

However, as part of the marketing spend, the company invests significantly in referral programmes to gain organic traffic on its platform. Fashalot aims to achieve a GMV of Rs 120 crore by end of 2016. The company currently has operations in Delhi, NCR and Bengaluru and it plans to expand in three more cities this year.

Fashalot, which recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding in pre-Series A round led by YourNest Angel Fund and angel investor Rajul Garg, is looking to raise $3-5 million in the next round. The company will deploy the funds raised in product development, talent acquisition, and fast-tracking their business growth.

According to market estimates, the Indian apparel market is estimated to be $40 billion currently, is expected to reach $60 billion by 2020 growing at 12% CAGR.