Desi Highstreet: the one-stop-shop for British Asian goods

Recently launched on Crowdcube, Desi Highstreet is an online marketplace, connecting customers with UK based ethnic niche retailers.

Hoping to raise a total of £100,000 on the crowdfunding website with an equity of ten percent, the website hope to enable an easier, secure and more accessible shopping experience for customers, from a myriad of online and community-based retailers.

When founder and CEO, Kuljit Thiaray, recognised there are almost 30,000 ethnic niche retailers in the UK with £13bn total turnover but shopping for these goods requires considerable effort such as “driving to key towns and cities to access shops, finding online websites that work in line with consumer contracts regulations, and searching social media accounts for reliable retailers.”, she hoped to provide retailers with an easy to use, affordable e-commerce platform and access to a growing customer base with onboarding support.

The website is undoubtedly off to a positive start. Since launching the prototype website in December 2015, they have featured on BBC radio, won a £1000 pitching prize judged by a panel including the CEO of RBS, and were featured in two social media campaigns with Vodafone Business.

“The funding will be used for specific development needs to expand the capacity of the platform, and to recruit a team, with IT, marketing and business development skills.

“The expectation is that the business will have grown to scale to enable an exit by 2021, from either a strategic acquisition by a mainstream online marketplace or from an international online marketplace looking to expand into the UK and Europe.” it explains on the website.

A standard 15 percent commission will be gained from the total cost value (item value plus postage) on each item sold. This provides the main active revenue stream, with promotional fees for premium listings.

With a qualified team with South Asian expertise, Desi Highstreet has raised over £23,500 with 25 days still left on Crowdcube and has a pre-money valuation of £900,000.