Rohan & Swati Bhargava
“The business is based on an affiliate model where CashKaro gets paid affiliate commission from retailers from which it pays back to users as “Cashback”!”
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The CashKaro Story
CashKaro.com is India’s largest Cashback & Coupons website and essentially the cheapest way to shop online. It was launched in April 2013 by Swati & Rohan Bhargava, a young entrepreneur couple who left their lucrative Investment Banking jobs in London to start the Cashback business. Members can earn up to 30% Extra Cashback on their online orders across 1000+ retailers. The business is based on an affiliate model where CashKaro gets paid affiliate commission from retailers from which it pays back to users as “Cashback”! The Cashback can be transferred to bank account since its Real Cash or can be redeemed as Gift Vouchers.
CashKaro.com has also launched Product Discovery and Price Comparison search engine tool to enhance user experience.
In Conversation with Rohan & Swati Bhargava
Recipe for success
The most important factor for the success of a startup is to have a great team. Its important to get the right people on the bus and ensure that people are selected not only on the basis of their resume but also attitude and work ethic. If the team can match the Founders’ zeal and passion, they will ride through the inevitable bumps along the way.
Secondly, there must be a good product-market fit for the startup. When we launched CashKaro, one of the most encouraging factors was that we were taking a proven Billion Dollar business abroad and applying it to a deals savvy market like India, so it just felt that like there was a great product market fit.
Third, it helps if the Startup team learns how to build a brand. This leads to trust in the brand which supersedes many other aspects.
Next, startups must know their mission and have a plan. Business plans don’t have to be perfect but it helps to have a plan to follow with your goals in mind.
Lastly, its imperative that we don’t lose sight of Revenues. Neither is Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) as important nor getting only PR. Our objective has to be to build a sustainable and profitable business.
Increasingly we have learnt that the startup journey is more important than the destination. So in trying to achieve our large goals, entrepreneurs should never forget to have fun on the way!
Your unique idea
CashKaro.com is India’s largest Cashback & Coupons website and essentially the cheapest way to shop online. Members can earn up to 30% Extra Cashback on their online orders across 1000+ retailers including Amazon.in, Jabong, Paytm, ShopClues etc. All they need to do is visit the site via CashKaro.com and then shop. The business is based on an affiliate model where CashKaro gets paid affiliate commission from retailers from which it pays back to users as “Cashback”! Best part is that Cashback is paid over & above discount coupons & sales so these are truly extra savings.
CashKaro.com has also launched Product Discovery and Price Comparison search engine tool to enhance user experience. This added feature enables members to get all savings at one place and make an informed buying decision.
Cashback is a proven, tried & tested model globally with sites like Ebates and Fanli.com being valued at over a Billion Dollars. Given the perfect product-market fit for CashKaro in India and expansion to South East Asian markets, CashKaro is poised for similar success in India.
Partnership with Kalaari
From the start we have found Kalaari to be a valuable partner in our journey as opposed to just an investor. They always encouraged us to be open and honest about opportunities and challenges alike and gave good advice in both. Having closely seen the growth journey of some of India’s most successful start-ups, Kalaari has a good understanding of what works and what dosen’t and learning from that experience has been valuable for us. We’ve always been impressed with their desire to help in all ways possible, promptly opening up their vast network to us and the passion with which they walk alongside entrepreneurs.
Your first meeting
We knew Ashish Dave from before he joined Kalaari and one day over a casual Skype chat we mentioned that we may start raising funds soon. We got lucky that Sumit Jain, Principal at Kalaari was visiting Gurgaon the following week and we managed to get a coffee slot! The chat with Sumit was our first interaction with Kalaari. Sumit made us feel quite at ease and we had a great conversation about Cashback globally and growth & prospects of CashKaro in India. At first we were a little apprehensive but we’ve always felt that its been easy to get along with people we met from Kalaari and they always make you feel that we’ll work together as a team to grow this business. Thereafter we met Vani Kola, Rajesh Raju and presented to the entire Investment Committee in Bangalore. We had parallel conversations going on with other VCs also but after meeting the team we were clear in our mind that Kalaari Capital was our choice of investor. We felt they understood and shared our passion for CashKaro and together we could create a world class company!