Bangalore-based Myntra Designs Pvt Ltd, which runs the lifestyle e-commerce site Myntra.com, has acquired Exclusively.in Inc., the company behind the private label brand Shersingh.com and the fashion site Exclusively.in, in a cash-cum-equity deal, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal comes as yet another consolidation in the e-commerce space in India involving common VC investors. Accel Partners and Tiger Global are shareholders in both Myntra and Exclusively.in.
However, Mukesh Bansal, founder and CEO of Myntra, clarified that the investors did not play an active role in the acquisition process.
“We have been working on building our private label portfolio and for this purpose, we were looking at a number of private label companies in India. We realised that Sher Singh had built a great brand and felt that it would be a great addition to our private label portfolio. We can also leverage its design team to accelerate our private label plans – so the acquisition made sense,” said Bansal.
As part of the deal, Exclusive.in co-founders Sunjay Guleria and Sonny Caberwal, the entire senior management team and all other employees will join Myntra and help strengthen its private label portfolio. The Sher Singh brand of products will now be sold on both Myntra.com and Shersingh.com. The addition of the Exclusively.in team boosts the Myntra team’s headcount by 55.
Based on the respective valuation, all shareholders of Exclusively.in will receive a mix of cash and equity. Hence it is safe to say that both Accel Partners and Tiger Global will now own a bigger chunk of Myntra. However, there will be no changes to the Myntra board.
“As far as the Exclusively.in brand goes, we feel that there is a lot of scope in the business of selling original Indian ethnic wear to NRIs and that the brand has a very loyal customer base outside India. We will definitely scale it up and leverage it for our international efforts. Myntra also has its own ethnic wear collection and we will use Exclusively.in’s design team to extend that further,” said Bansal.
The company will also maintain Sher Singh’s New York design studio to tap into the latest trends in fashion.
Sunjay Guleria, co-founder and CEO of Exclusively.in, said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better long-term fit than Myntra. As the leader in the fashion and lifestyle e-commerce space, Myntra will now offer Sher Singh’s award-winning designs and superior quality to millions of consumers in India and help us create long-term, sustainable brand equity.”
Founded in June 2010, Exclusively.in offers a variety of ethnic wear products including apparels, jewellery, handbags and accessories for the US and the UK markets. In contrast, launched in 2011, Sher Singh specialises in sports-inspired lifestyle apparel for men and women.
Last year, Exclusive.in Inc. had raised a second-round funding of $16 million, led by New York-based Tiger Global Management LLC. Existing investors Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners also took part in that round. The firm had also raised $2.8 million from Accel and Helion in November 2010.
The company has offices in Delhi and New York, and also has Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan as one of its investors (and brand ambassador).
Interestingly, in an interview with Techcircle.in in March this year, Guleria had categorically denied rumours that the company was up for sale. He had further added that the company had done some necessary restructuring and consequently, the site had become a profitable entity.
Myntra is one of the heaviest funded players in the e-commerce business, having raised around $40 million since it started operations in 2007. Earlier this year, the company raised $20 million in a Series C funding, led by Tiger Global. Prior to that, it had raised $14 million in its second round of funding from Tiger Global and the then existing investors IDG Ventures and Indo-US Venture Partners. In November 2008, Myntra got $5 million in a Series A funding from NEA-IndoUS Ventures, IDG Ventures and Accel Partners. It had also received seed funding from Accel Partners (formerly Erasmic Venture Fund), Sasha Mirchandani (from Mumbai Angels) and one other angel investor in October 2007.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)