Mangrove Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based venture capital firm which has backed Skype and Nimbuzz, has invested $4 million for a minority stake in Global Online Apparel, a holding company of Indian shoe e-tailer BeStylish.com, as well as other e-commerce sites across the globe.
“Mangrove Capital is our preferred partner and we work very closely with them in multiple markets. They are a great team with experience, support, reputation and trust in us,” said Harish Bahl, promoter of Global Online Apparel, told Techcircle.
With the fresh fund, Global Online Apparel now plans to launch more portals in other countries. “We set up a separate holding company for each e-commerce model we have and roll it out in various emerging markets like India, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, etc. And we plan to launch a few more such sites soon,” said Bahl.
Bahl is also the founder and group CEO of the Smile Group, which launched BeStylish.com (http://www.bestylish.com/) in May, 2011. The group also runs the private sales site Fashionandyou.com and the group buying site Dealsandyou.com.
Other promoters of Global Online Apparel are Klaus Hommels and Oliver Jung. While Hommels has been involved in Web 2.0 investments such as Skype, Spotify, Xing and Facebook, Jung has invested in Facebook, Xing, Netmoms.de, Brands4friends.de and Nimbuzz.com. Bahl, Jung and Hommels are also promoters of another holding company, Group Buying Global AG, which was used to acquire Wanamo.com in June, 2010. Wanamo.com was then rebranded as Dealsandyou.com.
Details of the stakes held by them in Global Online Apparel were not revealed. The deal was first reported by Quintara, a visual search engine in Russia and also a portfolio company of Mangrove Capital. But the deal amount was not disclosed then.
Mangrove Capital is an early-stage investor in the Internet and software start-ups, and counts voice chat app Skype and instant messaging aggregator Nimbuzz as its portfolio companies. Others include web cam chat service Woome.com, online ticket exchange site Seatwave.com and European classifieds site for real estate, Properazzi.com.
In December, 2010, Mangrove sold German fashion sales site brands4friends.com to eBay and soon after, the Australian group buying site Spreets to Yahoo! Mangrove has also invested in private fashion shopping site KupiVIP.ru, which raised $20 million in a round led by Accel Partners.