5 startups making the online adult products space seductive

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The Indian culture has always imbibed a shy factor which has pulled the audience away from expressing their sexual desires openly. However, with the emergence of online portals in this space, a wide segment is utilizing this opportunity to satiate their untold needs.
Sexual wellness industry is flourishing in India with the adult sexual products market, expected to grow INR 2450 crores in 2016 and INR 8700 crores in 2020. Also, the surveys have revealed that majority orders are received on online portals by women shoppers and from the Tier1 and Tier2 cities.
“The global solution is eCommerce and this industry has quickly moved to the web from the physical retail model which has been prevalent for several decades in other parts of the developed world. What’s interesting In India, is that we have never had physical retail in the form of adult shops. Therefore, this is one of the only industries where 100% of the market is online with 0% offline,” said Samir Saraiya, founder, Digital E-Life Pvt Ltd, the owner of portal, ThatsPersonal.com.
Also, there are a few challenges. As said by Vinodh Reddy, founder of OhMysecrets.com, the major one is to make consumers aware of the availability of such products online. Legality of selling Adult toys in India is an issue and requires to strictly follow a few guidelines. Apart from these, precautions have to be taken by the companies while delivering these products to avoid losing anonymity of the product ordered.
We interacted with a few players in this space to know more about their success in this space.
IMBesharam: The company portrays itself as ‘Adult Lifestyle Web-Store’, serving 1.3 billion Indians worldwide. As claimed, the products are sourced from popular brands in US and Europe. Till last year, the company was offering around 1000 products and was aimed at increasing this number to 5000 by the end of 2013. During the beta launch phase for 90 days in 2011, it shipped over 3000 orders and the average value of the order is INR 2700.

As of April 2014, the site is getting a monthly traction of 143k unique visitors with a total of 4000 products on site and an average order value of INR 4211. Also, the founders are planning to soon launch a US site in mid May aimed at NRI’s in North America & Europe/Australia/Africa.
Based out of Mumbai and US, the venture is an initiative of Raj Armani. It offers a wide range of products across various categories such as lingerie, costumes, clubwear, sexywear, swimwear, partywear, fantasywear, footwear, shapewear, and undergarments, Energy products & energy drinks, sunglasses, watches, and other lifestyle accessories. Also, it provides stuff catering to the needs of Bachelor & Bachelorette parties.
Most of the visitors are from metros but the visitors from the non-metros incidentally make larger purchases for the site.  It currently has 223,424 Facebook likes and 3,993 Twitter followers.
Kaamastra: Launched in 2012, the venture is an initiative of Amit Batra, Maqsood Nazir and Rahber Nazir and is based in Pune. Women’s lingerie, corsets, fantasy costumes, sensual massage and bath products and accessories are a few categories it deals in. The company is known for its Black Box strategy where the complete anonymity of a customer order is maintained.

The platform is an exclusive importer and distributor for India for three international brands of lubricants. “Nobody in this industry can claim to be exclusive for any brand today,” said Amit.
For Kaamastra, smaller cities gives more sales, as they have less access to physical stores so they depend more on online stores, 40% of its traffic comes from Tier 2 and 3 cities while 60% are the women buyers.
On an average the site gets a daily traction of around 5k and till date has uploaded around 627 products on site. The average order value is around INR 1150 and the maximum processing time for any order is 48 hours.
Within the next 2-3 months, they are also planning to add a few more categories. The company achieved break-even in October last year and now claims to be a only profitable company in this sector in India.
OhMySecrets: Launched in August 2013 by Vinodh Reddy, the company aims to establish itself as “Adult Private Shopping Webstore.”  Products on site ranges from Sexual Enhancement Products,Edibles, Massage Oils & Gels, Lubes & Lotions, Lingerie etc.

The portal claims to have around 16 Lakh Visitors with an average of 42 Lakh page views and hitting close to 15,000 visitors per day on average. Also, it has close to 65,000 fan followers in Facebook.
Currently, its been self funded with a profit margin of 30% and is looking forward to breakeven within 6 months timeframe. The team is also planning to add more categories related to Adult products like Sex Furniture etc. Its global product sourcing Office is in New York and delivery/ warehouse in Chennai, India. At present they are catering only to the Indian customers.
Shykart: This platform caters to mainly the personal needs which consumers are shy to ask on a convenience store. Various kinds of condoms, sex related health products, women sanitary products, Sex Books and so on. The venture was started by Vivek Raja in early 2013.

The portal sees traction mainly from Tier 1 cities and till last year, the portal had around 800 SKUs and did 600 deliveries / month at an average ticket size of INR 700.
Thatspersonal: Based in Mumbai, it is a venture of Samir Saraiya, the owner of Digital E-Life Pvt Ltd. Founded in January 2013, the portal, at present offers products in six categories, viz. Fun Stuff, Roleplay costumes, Sexual enhancement, Erotica, First timers and Romance.

The portal offers services in 12 cities. The 30-35% traffic comes from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and 20% of the buyers represent women.
It currently offers around 1500 products with an average order value of INR 1900 and approximately 120k monthly unique visitors. The company also provides the facility of ‘self-pickup’ on pre-paid orders.

In near future, the company plans to introduce more products and divulge in more marketing activities, Also, the site will focus on providing more education to Indian on why they should buy these products and which products are suitable to them.


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