StalkBuyLove faces cash crunch, defaults on payment of refunds and dues

Co-founder Shikha Ahluwalia said in a video statement that the company is currently in an extremely tight spot financially due to a ‘deteriorating dynamic’ with its lead shareholder.
StalkBuyLove faces cash crunch, defaults on payment of refunds and dues
StalkBuyLove faces cash crunch, defaults on payment of refunds and dues
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Online fashion e-commerce portal StalkBuyLove is facing a severe cash crunch and has defaulted on payments to influencers, vendors and several customers.

Earlier this week, two social media influencers –  Komal Pandey and Roshni Bhatia – took to Instagram to call out and complain about StalkBuyLove not paying them their dues for a brand collaboration done nearly six months ago. They alleged that after months of follow-up, they were told they wouldn’t be getting paid and that the founders of the company stopped responding to them. Komal, in an Instagram post said that the company owed her nearly Rs 2 lakh rupees.

Post this, several customers, influencers and vendors also responded to these posts claiming that they had dues pending as well.

A vendor who supplied fabric to StalkBuyLove claimed that the company owes them Rs 12 lakh and that they will be taking legal action against the company. An employee, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed that the company had been facing a fund crunch for a few months now.

The company’s Twitter and Instagram page, too, has several users demanding pending refunds and deliveries of products that they ordered over a month ago. Some users have refunds pending for over 3 months.

“I placed my order more than a month ago, still it's not been delivered to me.. where is my order? Kindly let me know when can I expect to receive my order,” one user tweeted.

“I had placed an order in July which you guys kept delaying for almost 2 months and cancelled. I got a mail saying my any will be credited in my SBL account. Since the reason for which I ordered the product had already long gone, I was OK with the recredit. When I tried to replace the order with the cashback you guys are asking me to make the payment. I have been continuously following up but you guys are so busy that you do not have time to cater to your client. if I don't get the proper resolution on this, I will have to take this to Consumer Affairs. It's been more than 3 months you cancelled my order without giving me credit for the same,” another user tweeted.

Several comments on its Instagram page too, highlighted the same issue. However, the company has since disabled comments on its Instagram page.

According to an ET report, the company has been facing a cash crunch for the past six months after a potential funding round from a German fund didn’t go through.

StalkBuyLove was founded in 2013 by Tushar Ahluwalia, Shikha Ahluwalia, Aashna Chopra and Nishrit Srivastva. The fashion portal creates its own designs and sells only in-house labels. According to the company website, its looks are inspired from celebrities, European catwalks and high-end luxury labels.

“As soon as we design new styles, we make them accessible online within 10 days from conceptualization. Styles might be quickly sold out because we do not keep a lot of stock,” the company website states.

Responding to the allegations being made on social media, co-founder Shikha Ahluwalia put out a video statement on Instagram saying that the company is currently in an extremely tight spot financially and that the brand is struggling to stay alive.

“Part of the reason why the company finds itself where it is, is also because of the founders including myself. But a large part of why we find ourselves in this position is because of our deteriorating dynamic with our lead shareholder over the past few quarters (sic),” she said.

Admitting that the company has been a loss-making startup fuelled by VC growth, she said that the company has clocked Rs 100 crore of sales but made one bad decision of not choosing the right financial partner.

StalkBuyLove counts Kalaari Capital, 500 Startups and Germany-based Littlerock as its investors. It last raised funds in 2017 and has in total raised $10 million so far.

Shikha, in the video, promised to return refunds of all customers and to settle all dues. She further added that the founders are not absconding and that they are working on getting the business back up and will bounce back soon.

However, the website is still up and running and is taking orders. It has, however, disabled cash on delivery as an option. Customers will have to pay for their order in advance.

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