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Pepperfry to expand online furniture sales business in India

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Pepperfry
Pepperfry

Pepperfry has raised another $31 million in funding.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – A fast-growing Indian economy equals more people are moving to urban areas and getting on the housing ladder. The same boom has inspired a series of companies that use the internet to help homeowners and renters outfit their places of residence with furniture. Whether you want to kit out your office with filing cabinets or you have always had your eye on a luxurious office chair, when shopping online for furniture, the possibilities are truly endless.

Pepperfry is one such company, and Wednesday it announced that it has raised $31 million to build out its business across India.

The four-year-old company was started by ex-eBay executives Ambareesh Murty (CEO) and Ashish Shah (COO) who “decided to turn entrepreneur and make the most of the e-commerce potential in India,” Murty said.

Murty anticipates the market for interior design in India at between $30-$40 billion per year and he believes that it is ripe for disruption.

“India is fairly underserved when it comes to organized retail and [the market for furniture is] exceedingly fragmented. The top five brands account for just four percent of all sales,” he said.

With its most recent round of funding bringing in another $31 million (something that many who use https://earlygrowthfinancialservices.com/ to launch their new companies can only dream of), Pepperfry has now raised $160 million from investors. his latest round was led by existing backers Goldman Sachs, Bertelsmann India Investments, Norwest Venture Partners and Zodius Technology Fund. Last summer, Goldman led the company’s $100 million Series D.

The company claims to offer an inventory from 10,000 partners – including its own line – across decor ranging from furniture, home decor, kitchen and dining, and pet supplies. Beyond selling online, the company operates a number of experience centers which are staffed by interior design experts and open to customers seeking ideas or input about their home. Murty said the company is aiming to increase its current 10 experience centers to as many as 30, taking them into tier-two and tier-three cities in India.

Pepperfry additionally seek to expand its logistics, too. Currently, Murty claimed, it can reach around 500 cities in India, but it plans to increase that to 1,000 before this year is out by investing in its logistics network. Pepperfry built its own delivery system, including its own last-mile fleet. This was done, because, “there was nobody in India capable of delivering big boxes to consumers,” he explained. Today, that stands at 17 fulfilment hubs and a delivery fleet of more than 400 vehicles.

“We estimate that the rental stage is only three to four years before consumers begin buying furniture for themselves,” Murty argued. “If we drive and give customers amazing value even on products they buy, why would they rent?”

Likewise there’s no plan to expand the focus outside of India at this point, as you might have gathered from the company rural expansion ambitions.

“India is a young country where consumption is increasing at a rapid rate,” he said. “Our focus over the next couple of years will remain the Indian market, then we’ll see.”

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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