Paragon Partners invests in womenswear e-tailer eShakti

By Anand J

  • 12 Jun 2018
Credit: Thinkstock

Fashion e-tailer eShakti, which focuses on the womenswear segment, has raised Rs 75 crore ($10.1 million) in fresh funding from private equity firm Paragon Partners.

The company said in a statement that it will use the fresh capital for growth and expanding its global footprint.

Founded by BG Krishnan in 2001, eShakti is based out of Chennai and the US. Its customers are mostly located in the US, Australia and Canada.

"We look forward to building on our history of strong growth based on a robust value proposition that gives us both scalability and a competitive advantage," said Krishnan,

The company, which earlier ran an India-focused portal under the Zapelle brand, recently shuttered its Indian e-commerce division. Zapelle continues to be a high-end brand featured among eShakti’s other offerings. Its products are available in other large developed markets such as the UK, Singapore, UAE, France, Germany and Italy.

Last December, eShakti had raised $2.3 million (Rs 14.84 crore) in debt funding from BlackSoil Capital.

In 2014, the e-tailer had raised an undisclosed sum in a Series B round from IDG Ventures and Ivy Cap Ventures. It had also raised funding from Infina Finance in 2016.

Krishnan, an alumnus of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, started eShakti in 2001 as a website offering basic cottons and embellished pieces. It gradually pivoted to towards made-to-measure and made-by-design mainstream fashion clothing for women. eShakti does not stock any sizes, and each item is made to order.

The company claims to use proprietary technology to customise each item of apparel, enabling customers to tweak the style.

The firm’s design teams are based in New York, London and India. The clothing is made in India at its own factories and other contract units. Its subsidiary has an office in New York and a customer service facility near Seattle.

Since its Series A funding round in 2011, which was raised from IDG Ventures, eShakti claims to have achieved a 20-fold rise in revenue at around Rs 100 crore.

Paragon Partners

Paragon Partners is a private equity firm which provides growth capital to mid-market companies in India. It was started by Siddharth Parekh, the younger son of Housing Development Finance Corp chairman Deepak Parekh, in partnership with Sumeet Nindrajog in 2015.

The PE firm focuses on opportunities in sectors such as consumer discretionary, financial services, infrastructure services, manufacturing and industrials, and healthcare services.

The investment in eShakti is from its maiden fund called Paragon Partners Growth Fund-I, which marked its final close at $120 million (Rs 778.86 crore) last November and typically invests $10-20 million at one go.

Among its recent bets include an investment worth Rs 75 crore in Cravatex Brands Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly listed company Cravatex; and Rs 25 crore in InCred Finance, a technology-driven non-banking financial company.

Paragon Partners had made its debut investment in Mumbai-based privately held property construction firm Capacite Infraprojects Ltd. Its second investment was in engineering components maker Maini Precision.

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