regular-article-logo Sunday, 03 December 2023

Sudden demise of Pepperfry's Ambareesh Murty at 51 due to cardiac arrest leaves business world in shock

He founded the omnichannel furniture and home decor company in 2012

PTI New Delhi Published 08.08.23, 03:18 PM
Ambareesh Murty

Ambareesh Murty Twitter/@AmbareeshMurty

Ambareesh Murty, the co-founder and CEO of Pepperfry, died of a cardiac arrest in Leh, the online marketplace for furniture and home decor's another co-founder said.

He was 51.


"Extremely devastated to inform that my friend, mentor, brother, soulmate @AmbareeshMurty is no more. Lost him yesterday night to a cardiac arrest at Leh. Please pray for him and for strength to his family and near ones," Ashish Shah said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Murty was a bike enthusiast and used to go on motorcycle trips from Mumbai to Leh. He had posted photos and videos from his trip to Ladakh on Instagram.

He founded Pepperfry in 2011 after stints with Cadbury, ICICI AMC (now ICICI Prudential) and Levi's.

Pepperfry, which counts Goldman Sachs, Fevicol-maker Pidilite Ventures and Bertelsmann India Investments among its investors, is worth USD 500 million.

Tributes poured in with people posting their fond memories with Murty.

"So sad & shocking to hear of Ambareesh Murty's sudden demise due to cardiac arrest. May his soul rest in peace. An amazing entrepreneur & inspiration to many... may his legacy with Pepperfry live on. RIP," Swati Bhargava, co-founder of, wrote on X.

Murty's body is being flown to Mumbai for last rites.

"Very sad my second boss and what a mentor he was... I messaged him two days back and he was okay. Got him added to PruICICI group where a reunion is getting planned," commented Kalpesh Teli.

After doing engineering at the Delhi College of Engineering in 1994, Murty pursued management studies at IIM Calcutta. He called himself a closet sociopath on his X (formerly Twitter) profile and professed a love for history-reading epic fantasies.

Murty joined Cadbury as a sales and marketing professional in June 1996. After a five-and-a-half-year tenure with the chocolate manufacturer, he joined Prudential ICICI AMC (now ICICI Prudential) as VP of Marketing and Customer Service.

After spending nearly two years in the financial sector, he had a brief stint of five months at Levi's. This was followed by his entrepreneur journey, with its first venture, Origin Resources.

He shuttered the startup in 2005 and joined Britannia as a marketing manager.

Seven months later, Murty joined eBay India and was the country manager for the Philippines, Malaysia, and India. Six years later, Murty started Pepperfry in June 2011 along with Ashish Shah.

Pepperfry competes with Home Centre, Urban Ladder, Furlenco, Wakefit and others. The Mumbai-based startup raised its first round of capital in December 2011 from Norwest Venture Partners - a USD 5 million check. It went on to raise USD 244 million in investment. It raised its last round in November 2021, when General Electric, Mukesh Sharma Family Trust and others infused USD 10 million in the company.

"Om shanti. Heartbroken and stunned to learn about Ambareesh Murty's untimely departure due to a cardiac arrest. May his soul find eternal peace. An extraordinary entrepreneur and a true inspiration to countless... may his legacy with Pepperfry endure #RIP," CEO and founder of NirogStreet, Ram N Kumar posted.

Managing Partner at Climatora, Debadutta Upadhyaya expressed her shock, offering her prayers and thoughts to the Pepperfry team. "Travel well Ambareesh," she wrote on X.

Murty was an avid biker and also loved hiking.

Managing Director for Spotify India Amarjit Batra expressed his grief, saying he had lost "a great friend and an amazing leader".

"Really sad and shocked to hear this tragic news. May his soul rest in peace. Heartfelt and deepest condolences to his family and the Pepperfry team," he posted.

Founder of Droom Sandeep Aggarwal shared he knew Murty from the time he was exiting eBay.

"So shocked and sad to hear about this. Knew him from the time he was exiting eBay. Amazing human being, very learned and great soul. Our prayers for his family and Pepperfry family. Om shanti!!," he posted.

Since its inception, Pepperfry has built a market leadership as the largest furniture marketplace by offering great value, a large variety of curated merchandise with over 1 lakh items from over 10,000 merchants.

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