Oliphans Capital invests $2M in toy maker Prothom

Early-stage VC firm Oliphans Capital has invested $2 million (Rs 12.8 crore) in Prothom Industries India Ltd, a contract manufacturer and exporter of toys, it said on Friday. Prothom is one of the several suppliers to global toys giant Hasbro.

Founded in 2013 by Arun Chandrachud, Prothom has manufacturing facilities in Pune. It employs close to 300 women in its factory and has an additional team of 70 people to manage the business.

It claims to have domain expertise in plastics, mechatronics and high volume assembly.

Chandrachud, managing director, Prothom, had previously worked at boutique corporate advisory firm Yen Capital before starting up Prothom. In the past he has worked at companies including 3DI Systems besides having a short stint at Ernst & Young (now EY). He is a CFA and holds an MBA in finance from University of Texas.

Anish Jhaveri, founder of Oliphans Capital, said, “In Prothom, we see a $200 million opportunity over two years. India is fast becoming very cost competitive versus China in terms of labour costs and we are bullish on the toy industry – globally. In Prothom, we see a beginning of manufacturing startups being funded in India.”

Founded in 2012, Oliphans typically invests in the range of $0.5-3 million. It is a sector agnostic fund but has worked extensively in the technology and e-commerce verticals apart from having expertise in the media sector.

Oliphans has made eight investments including BVG India (facility management); Den Networks (cable TV service); Ecom Express (e-commerce logistics); LocalBanya.com (grocery e-tailer); Grab.in (formerly Grab-a-Grub, a B2B hyper local food logistics company); OnlineRTI (a company that helps citizens to file RTI for a fee) and Sigrid Education (ed-tech).

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