Venture capital firm Accel Partners is all set to invest $5 million in celebrity merchandise and brand extension firm Universal Collectabillia Pvt Ltd (UCPL), according to The Economic Times. Universal Collectabillia provides an online auction platform called Collectabillia.com for selling sports memorabilia (Last we checked, the company’s site was down for maintenance).
UCPL is jointly owned by cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (who holds around 26 per cent stake) and Anjana Reddy, a member of the family who owns Deccan Chronicle. As part of the deal, Accel will acquire a minority stake in the startup.
Techcircle.in tried to contact Accel Partners over phone for more details regarding the funding, but no comments were available till the time of posting this article.
UCPL was set up in 2010 and it also helps celebrities extend their overall brand value. The company had earlier struck a deal with South actor Rajnikanth for the same.
In May this year, the company had auctioned four cricketing memorabilia, autographed by Indian cricketers, on Tata Sky’s Channel 100. These included a signed jersey from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, a white cricket ball signed by Zaheer Khan and an engraved pen and signed memento from Tendulkar. Each memorabilia had a pre-defined price with the minimum bid starting at Rs 2,500.
Accel has more than 40 companies in its portfolio across diverse areas such as the Internet, mobile, Cloud/SaaS, healthcare and education. In India, it has made investments in companies such as Babyoye, Cnergyis, enStage, Deeksha (Ace), Exclusively.in, Flipkart, Forus, Freshdesk, HealthcareMagic, Kaati Zone, Letsbuy, MuSigma, Myntra, Perfint, QwikCilver, Sconce, Vinculum and Virident. The firm, which typically invests up to $3 million in early seed stage, most recently invested in Bangalore-based ZopNow Retail Pvt Ltd, which runs the online hypermarket ZopNow.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)