Consumer centric venture fund Sixth Sense Ventures, floated by former IDFC Securities’ managing director and its co-head of research Nikhil Vora, has made its first investment in luxury watches retail chain operator Ethos Ltd. The quantum of investment is not disclosed.
The transaction also marks the first entry of an institutional investor in Ethos, which is a subsidiary of public-listed watch component manufacturer KDDL Ltd, in a Series A financing round.
“Ethos sits in well with our philosophy of investing in the ‘consumer of tomorrow’…we see in Ethos, a fascinating opportunity to partner and participate in a scale business, which is likely to be extremely profitable and rides on the back of the strongest global brands,” Vora, founder & CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures, said.
Ethos is one of India’s largest chains of luxury watch boutiques with 44 stores across the country and an authorised retailer for around 50 global luxury watch brands. It generated revenues of Rs 220 crore last year, up 27 per cent from Rs 172 crore in FY13.
It opened eight new stores last year while shutting five non-performing stores.
It introduced brands like IWC and Panerai in FY14 and finalised a retail agreement with FOSSIL Group to jointly open stores under the name and style of WSI by ETHOS.
Ethos has also built an asset-light e-com platform, which is already generating over 20 per cent of leads converting into sales.
“At Ethos, we believe we are at the cusp of a sustained growth, with global brands vying for a slice of the Indian emerging HNI segment,” Yasho Saboo, CEO of KDDL and Ethos, said.
KDDL, formerly known as Kamala Dials, is a watch component manufacturing firm and seven years ago had also acquired a manufacturing unit in Switzerland.
Sixth Sense Ventures, which is raising around $40 million its debut fund, was floated by Vora early this year. Vora is independently also a private investor in several firms including Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd (KKEL), which runs Kangaroo Kids Preschool and Billabong High International School; Vini Cosmetics, an FMCG company which raised funding from Sequoia Capital India last year; sports-focused digital display solutions firm Technology Frontiers, backed by Avigo Capital and MRO AirWorks, backed by NEA and GTI Capital.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)