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TPG Growth, Premji, ChrysCap pile into SoftBank-backed FirstCry
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

FirstCry, an online-first baby products retailer, has raised a large round led by US-based private equity investor TPG Growth and joined by homegrown firms PremjiInvest and ChrysCapital, three sources told VCCircle. 

The minority stake deal is a mix of primary and secondary components, the people said, adding that all three have come in as new investors.

The deal, somewhere between $300 million (Rs 2,190 crore) and $325 million (Rs 2,375 crore), is said to have been struck at a valuation of $2-2.1 billion (Rs 14,629-15,361 crore). 

Under the deal, a few early backers have exited FirstCry. 

The Economic Times has reported that Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners), Vertex Ventures and MegaDelta Capital Advisors have left the company. 

FirstCry and the investors didn’t respond to queries till the time of publishing this report. 

Run by BrainBees Solutions Pvt Ltd, FirstCry was founded in 2010 by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha. 

The venture is the most heavily funded baby products e-tailer in India. SoftBank, IDG Ventures, Valiant Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates are among its investors. 

The company claims to offer more than two lakh kid products across categories that include diapers, feeding and nursing, skin and health care, toys, clothes, footwear, and fashion accessories. 

In 2015, Mahindra Group, which ran the country's top offline baby products chain Mom & Me, bought FirstCry's key rival BabyOye. A year later, Mahindra merged BabyOye with FirstCry to create the top player in the vertical. 

FirstCry also ventured into the pre-primary education segment in 2019 by acquiring Oi Playschool for an undisclosed sum. 

The company posted consolidated net sales of Rs 814 crore during fiscal 2019-20 as against Rs 507 crore a year before. Its net loss narrowed to Rs 190 crore from Rs 932 crore during the period under review. 

In the baby diaper segment, FirstCry competes with big brands such as Procter & Gamble's Pampers, Kimberley-Clark's Huggies and Unicharm's Mamy Poko Pants. 

The broader diaper segment has not seen too many transactions in the recent past. Mamaearth, which also offers baby diapers among other personal care products, is said to have approached both strategic and financial investors for a large equity round. 

Incubation platform Venture Catalysts invested an undisclosed amount in Superbottoms, which makes diapers for babies, in 2018. 

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