Sports-focused PE firm FidelisWorld backs adventure gear maker Wildcraft

By Debjyoti Roy

  • 23 Jul 2018
Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Outdoor gear maker Wildcraft India Pvt. Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Dubai-based FidelisWorld, a sports investment fund focused on Asian markets.

VCCircle had reported last year that Wildcraft, which is backed by global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, had hired boutique investment banking specialist Spark Capital to help raise growth capital in the range of $30-40 million (Rs 194-260 crore).

In a statement, FidelisWorld said it will leverage its global network to help Wildcraft grow its business in India and internationally.

“FidelisWorld’s financial and operational support will help accelerate Wildcraft’s growth plans,” Wildcraft co-founders Siddharth Sood and Gaurav Dublish said in the statement.

Rajeev Kalambi, principal at FidelisWorld, will now be a director on the board of Bengaluru-based Wildcraft.

Sequoia had invested $11 million in Wildcraft, which designs and manufactures rucksacks, backpacks, travel gear, sleeping bags and tents, back in 2013. It was not immediately clear whether the VC firm sold its shares to the new investor as part of the latest transaction.

Sood and Dublish, who are graduates from Mumbai’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, had joined hands with Dinesh KS, who is also a co-founder, in making and selling tents as a hobby alongside their full-time careers. Both Sood and Dublish quit their jobs to focus fully on Wildcraft’s business in 2007.

After securing funding from Sequoia five years ago, the firm expanded its production capacity, entered new product categories, undertook a brand revamp and retail redesign and launched international operations.

Wildcraft, which also makes apparel and footwear, claims to be offering its products through 175 exclusive stores and more than 5,000 multi-brand stores across 500-plus Indian cities, with two manufacturing units in Bengaluru and Himachal Pradesh.

It also distributes its products in international markets – South Asia, Middle East, and Central Asia, and recently secured its first tie-up in Europe.

Wildcraft’s net revenue grew to Rs 223 crore in the financial year 2016-17, up from Rs 176 crore a year before that, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC). Its net loss rose to Rs 12.9 crore as against Rs 8.8 crore during the period under review.

The sector-focused private equity firm, which is promoted by former JP Morgan executive Anand Krishnan, marked its maiden exit earlier this year by selling its stake in sports technology firm Techfront.

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