Venture Catalysts backs lingerie brand Inner Sense
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Funding and incubation platform Venture Catalysts has invested Rs 2.5 crore ($385,000) in lingerie brand Inner Sense in the startup's pre-Series A round.

The investors who participated in the funding round included Dharmesh Dalal, Vijay Lakhani and Matulya Shah, Venture Catalysts said in a statement.

Inner Sense was set up in 2014 by Abhishek Lodha and Neerja Lakhani. It sells organic antimicrobial innerwear products mainly through 18 e-commerce platforms in India and four overseas. It offers 120 styles across categories in women's innerwear.

The company will use the capital for expansion, said co-founder Lakhani, an NIFT graduate.

Dalal, partner at Ekkum Advisors LLP and one of the investors, said limited competition in the women's innerwear segment and the founders' expertise in textiles and product design will help Inner Sense expand.

Mumbai-based Venture Catalysts typically invests between $250,000 and $1 million in early-stage startups. It operates in seven cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Lucknow, Raipur and Surat.

The investment platform was founded by Dr Apoorv Sharma, Anil Jain, Anuj Golecha, and Gaurav Jain in December 2015. In July last year, it raised $500,000 from Zaffiro Ventures.

Venture Catalysts’ recent investments include online gifting company IGP.com, specialised cuisine startup The Bohri Kitchen, identity management platform ERA, energy drinks startup FYRE, and fin-tech startup HomeCapital.

A number of startups in the lingerie e-tailing segment have raised funding in recent years. Bengaluru-based Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd, which owns Zivame, is the most funded player having raised about $52 million till date.

Some other significantly funded players in this segment include Noida-based Purple Panda Fashions Pvt. Ltd, which owns Clovia; Mumbai-based MTC Ecom Pvt. Ltd, which owns Pretty Secrets, and Bengaluru-based online lingerie retailer Buttercups Intimates.

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