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Google’s Rajan Anandan, others invest in lingerie e-tailer Buttercups
Arpita Ganesh

Bengaluru-based online lingerie retailer Buttercups Intimates has raised an undisclosed amount in a fresh round of funding from Google India’s managing director Rajan Anandan and US-based angel investor Chandra Chappadi, a company statement said.

Existing investors Kanwaljit Singh, founder of Fireside Ventures and Anand Chandrasekaran, former product head at Snapdeal, also participated in this round, the statement added.

The investment was made via online deals platform LetsVenture.

The company will use the funds to launch new ranges and open two new fitting rooms in Bengaluru this year, Arpita Ganesh, founder and chief executive of Buttercups, said.

“The company is focusing to launch new categories of bras in sports, maternity and nursing. Our flagship fitting room at The Leela Palace is seeing a 90% conversion with ticket sizes as high as Rs 2,500,” Ganesh explained.

The firm will venture into Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad from next year onwards, she added.

“We have always been clear about how we want to build the business. The quality of our products and delivering a great customer experience has been at the core of everything we do. We are now focused on profitability. The zero inventory model and the pivot to India manufacturing are bold steps towards achieving this by November-December 2018,” Ganesh said.

Rajan Anandan is one of the most prolific angel investors in the country. A VCCircle analysis shows that in 2017, he invested in 11 companies, as compared to 9 investments in 2016. His investments for 2017 include in software-as-a-service startup Omnify Inc, medical content startup myUpchar, banking and business intelligence firm Karza Technology, crowdfunding platform Wishberry and co-working space provider Innov8, to name a few.

Anandan, an active investor in early-stage technology companies, has been putting his money into ventures across India, the US and Sri Lanka. In India, he has backed over 45 technology startups. He is also the co-founder of Blue Ocean Ventures, the first seed fund in Sri Lanka.

Buttercups Bras Pvt. Ltd was founded in 2014 by Ganesh. Besides selling innerwear, the company also provides value-added services that include booking an appointment with in-house fit specialists and fitting rooms for users to try out the products.

In 2015, Buttercups raised a little under $1 million in funding from Chandrasekaran, Singh, Manoj Varghese and Angie Mahtaney.

The company claims to have doubled its number of customers over the past year and says it has helped over 3,000 women choose the right products till date. It also claims to have built a distinct and sustainable advantage in the lingerie category with repeats being as high as 43%.

In the lingerie e-tailing segment, Bengaluru-based Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd, which owns Zivame, is the most funded player having raised $52.44 million till date. Some other significantly funded players in this segment include Noida-based Purple Panda Fashions Pvt. Ltd, which owns Clovia, and Mumbai-based MTC Ecom Pvt. Ltd, which owns Pretty Secrets.

In January 2017, Zivame founder Richa Kar had quit as chief executive officer and Shaleen Sinha, the then chief operating officer, took charge.

For the financial year ended March 2017, Clovia posted a 30% rise in net sales to Rs 38.8 crore versus revenue of Rs 30 crore it registered in the year prior. Zivame recorded net sales of Rs 52.9 crore in 2016-17, down about 15% from Rs 62.6 crore in the previous financial year.

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