Sequoia Capital invests $11M in adventure gear maker Wildcraft

Sequoia Capital has invested $11 million (Rs 70 crore) in Wildcraft India Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore based adventure equipment and outdoor gear company, sources told VCCircle. GV Ravisankar of Sequoia led the transaction.

The news was first reported by Time of India which also said the company plans to triple its production capacity over the next few years with the funds raised. At present, it produces 1 million units per year.

Separate emails sent to spokespersons of Wildcraft and Sequoia Capital remained unanswered.

Wildcraft was started in 1992 by Dinesh KS. It manufactures outdoor gears like rucksacks, backpacks, travel gear, camping gear, tents, sleeping bags, camera bags and accessories. Its top management team includes operations chief Siddharth Sood and sales & marketing head Gaurav Dublish.

Based out of Bangalore, it has 41 stores across Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ernakulam, Mangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Noida, Delhi and Chandigarh, with its gear being additionally available in over 500 multi-branded stores across India. One third of its stores are run by franchisees.

It has a manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh and it also sources bags from Wildcraft Manufacturing Private Limited (an associate company) which has a manufacturing facility in Bangalore.

The latest financials are not available but the firm has clocked sales of Rs 32 crore with net profit Rs 1.2 crore in 2011-12 against net profit of Rs 0.1 crore on operating income of Rs 19.3 crore during 2010-11, as per a note by rating agency ICRA.

In its home state it faces competition from large retailers of sports gear such as Decathlon. However, unlike Decathlon, a foreign retail chain which was till recently not allowed to sell directly to consumers as per FDI norms in retail, Wildcraft operates smaller format stores and focuses more on the bags. Decathlon is into all types of adventure gear including scuba diving equipment besides more mass indoor and outdoor sports.

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