Indian Angel Network has invested an undisclosed amount in Prettysecrets.com, an online lingerie site owned and operated by MTC Ecom Pvt Ltd. IAN investors Rehan Yar Khan and Farooq Oomerbhoy led the investment round in the startup, in which Harvard Angels and Orios Venture Partners also participated. The investment also saw participation from Allia Al Rufai, fashion stylist/consultant and previously the Jr. fashion editor of Harpers Bazaar India. As part of the investment, Khan will join the board of the company.
With the investment, the company plans to widen its product catalogue, build its supply chain, enhance customer service and scale up aggressively.
Karan Behal, founder and CEO, PrettySecrets, said, “Given the size of our consumer economy and the relative infancy of the lingerie segment, this is a vast under-served market. Our experience in lingerie sourcing and manufacturing, brand building, front-end retail and distribution make us well equipped to deliver a superior value proposition.”
The Mumbai-based startup was founded by Behal in March 2012. He comes from a family background of manufacturing and exporting ladies nightwear. He was earlier a part of a chain of lingerie stores called ‘Lace – The lingerie club’. The site was earlier called Mylace.in, but the company later rebranded itself to Prettysecrets.com. The site offers lingerie, nightwear, swimwear, shape wear and accessories, among others.
According to Behal, as of now, the site offers around 11,000 products from eight brands, including the company’s own private label brand called PrivateSecrets. He also claims that while a number of e-commerce players offer lingerie, the company is the first one in the market to offer its own private label. Out of the total number of products, around 70 per cent are private label products while the rest are sourced products. The plan is to increase the total number of offered products to 15,000 by the end of this year.
In the same space, earlier this year, Bangalore-based online lingerie store Zivame.com had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from venture capital firms IDG Ventures and Indo-US Venture Partners. At the time, the store was hosting more than 12,000 SKUs from domestic and international brands like Jockey, Triumph, Amante, Enamor, Bw!tch, Inaya, Hanes, Hollywood Fashion Secrets, Lovable, among others.
This investment in Prettysecrets.com takes IAN’s total number of investments this year to 12. In 2012, IAN has already invested Rs 2 crore in Mumbai-based tech startup Birds Eye Systems Pvt Ltd, a company specialising in intelligent traffic monitoring solutions; Rs 3.25 crore in Mumbai-based Peel-Works, a Cloud-enabled sales force transformation and BPO firm; around $1 million in Gamiana Digital Gaming Pvt Ltd, a three-year-old Mumbai-based digital gaming startup and $0.5 million in Chennai-based StayZilla.com, a hotel booking site.
Other investments this year include undisclosed amounts in Unbxd, an in-site search provider, Mumbai-based quick service restaurant Poncho, Bangalore-based social gaming startup HashCube Technologies Pvt Ltd and Aurus Network Infotech Pvt Ltd, a cloud-based SaaS solutions company for lecture capturing and publishing.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)