Pune-based BrainBees Solution Pvt Ltd, which runs hybrid online-offline baby and kids retailer FirstCry.com, has raised $26 million(Rs 160 crore) in Series D round of funding led by San Francisco-based hedge fund Valiant Capital Partners. Existing investors IDG Ventures India, Vertex and SAIF Partners, also participated in the round.
The fund will be used to scale across channels — online, mobile and offline besides investing in the growth of private label business.
“Supam and Amitava (co-founders) are seasoned entrepreneurial leaders who have demonstrated their ability to build and scale-up a world-class organisation. We have been highly impressed with FirstCry’s leadership and believe it is becoming one of the marquee e-commerce brands in India,” said Chris Hansen, managing partner of Valiant Capital Partners.
The company did not disclose who would be joining the board from the fund.
Valiant Capital Partners currently manages over $2.5 billion of assets and is associated with technology investments in both private and public markets globally.
“We plan to use the funds to focus on expanding our leadership across all channels (online, mobile and offline), as well as investing in the growth of our private label business,” says Supam Maheshwari, founder and CEO of Brainbees.
FirstCry was co-founded by Maheshwari and Amitava Saha in 2010. Maheshwari previously founded education startup Brainvisa Technologies, which was later sold to Indecomm Global Services. So far, the firm has raised three rounds of VC funding worth $33 million from Temasek’s venture investment arm Vertex Venture Holdings, SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures.
The company now also has over 100 FirstCry-branded franchisee offline retail stores across 85 cities in the country.
BrainBees has distribution partnerships with over 5,000 hospitals reaching over a million new parents across the country every year. The company is the largest multi-channel brand for baby and kids products across India.
BrainBees also owned and operated Goodlife.com, which focused on home, health and personal care items. This property was shut down last year.
It competes with the likes of Babyoye and Hopscotch besides top horizontal e-tailers such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal which also sell baby products.
In another recent deal, Hit The Mark Inc., which runs Mumbai-based curated baby and kids products flash sales site Hopscotch.in, raised $11 million in its Series B round of funding led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s VC fund Velos Partners last month. The round also saw participation from US-based Rise Capital, Middle East-based Jabbar Internet Group, and existing investors Singapore-based Lionrock Capital and Skype co-founder Toivo Annus.
Avendus Capital was the financial advisor to FirstCry for this transaction.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)