Not being probed for financial impropriety: co-founder of Trell

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Influencer-run video commerce platform Trell is not being investigated for financial impropriety, its co-founder Pulkit Agrawal says as he seeks to steer the startup to break even. here the end of the current financial year.

Opening to reports of a cohort of investors ordering a forensic audit of Trell, Agrawal said speculation about any financial impropriety is “totally baseless and baseless”.

“There was no investigation, but an internal review by the company itself. Rapid-pace growth has its challenges, and after an independent review, we have further realigned our systems and processes to ensure more robust and sustained growth,” he said. .

The company’s board of directors and Trell’s investors remain deeply committed to the company and have full confidence in the company’s founders and management, he said.

Although the reports did not identify the investors who commissioned the audit, Trell counts H&M Group, Sequoia Capital India, Mirae Asset, KTB Network, Beenext, Fosun and Samsung Venture Investment among its top institutional investors.

Founded by Agrawal, Bimal Kartheek Rebba, Arun Lodhi and Prashant Sachan (who left the company in mid-2020), Trell allows users to create content related to beauty or lifestyle products and publish it on the platform.

The startup makes money from its “Trell Shop, which is an e-commerce marketplace that lists over 600 beauty and lifestyle products. It also takes part in collaborations between brands and content creators.

Social commerce is an emerging sector in India and its growth has received a massive boost during the global pandemic. According to a 2021 report by Bain & Company, social commerce as an industry has the potential to grow to reach $1.62 trillion by FY25, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55-60 %.

Agrawal said there was no “investor-founder face-off.”

“Trell’s board and investors remain deeply committed to the company and have complete confidence in the founders and management of the company,” he said.

The startup, which raised $45 million in July 2021 in funding led by financial group Mirae Asset, H&M Group and co-led by LB Investments, has no plans to raise funds in the ‘immediate but will continue to focus on sustainable growth and profitability,’ he said.

“We are currently focused on operational profitability by the end of this fiscal year, after which we will continue to grow the operations of the organization,” he said.

Trell had incurred a loss of Rs 78.4 crore in FY21.

“We are continually growing the social commerce business with the vast ecosystem of brands, creators and consumers interacting on a common Internet destination,” he said. “The company is actively working on its business growth plans and by the end of the current fiscal year, it will be on track to break even.”

Launched in 2017, Trell has 45 million monthly active users on its platform and 100% month-over-month growth in online transactions. It has over 1,000 e-commerce brands in its kitty. About 60% of Trell users come from Tier II and III cities like Indore, Lucknow, Patna, Chandigarh, Agra, Dehradun, Kochi, Tripura and the rest come from metropolitan cities, Bengaluru and Mumbai having the highest number of consumers.

Asked about the layoffs, Agrawal said Trell continued to implement its restructuring and downsizing strategy announced in April. “The company is actively working on its growth plans and is constantly looking for skills, upskilling and bringing new skills to its workforce.

Although Agrawal did not elaborate, Trell is said to have laid off nearly 300 employees. Trell had 700 employees, 500 of whom worked full time.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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