Mela Artisans nets $3 mln from Aavishkaar

Mela Artisans has closed $3 million in financing from India-based social venture firm Aavishkaar. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Mela Artisans is a luxury lifestyle brand.

PRESS RELEASE

Mar. 4, 2014 – MUMBAI, India — Socially Conscious Luxury Brand Mela Artisans receives $3 Million financing from leading impact fund – Aavishkaar.
The Mumbai, India-based Venture Capital and Private Equity firm, a pioneer in investments targeted at rural and underserved India.
This investment will help further Mela Artisans’ mission of supporting the artisans of India by providing a sustainable global market and promoting their entrepreneurship through high-end home accessories and jewelry collections. Mela intends to use the funds to expand its collections, grow its distribution channels domestically and internationally and to reach out to a wider range of artisan societies in various states in India. Mela Artisans’ distinctive collections combine the centuries-old handcrafting traditions and techniques of India’s artisan communities with modern and contemporary design, and are currently sold on the Mela Artisans web shop and in leading stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew and Bloomingdales.
Regarding the investment, Noshir Colah, Partner at Aavishkaar, said “Mela was a compelling investment with its rare combination of established industry relationships with international retailers, significant backward linkages with artisan groups and excellent design capabilities culminating in an extremely competitive product. Moreover, Mela’s eagerness to work directly with artisans and help them produce products of significantly superior quality has enabled artisan groups to upgrade their skills and earn more stable livelihoods, thus making the craft sustainable for them. This makes the investment incrementally attractive for Aavishkaar.”
“We are honored to be recognized by Aavishkaar, a pioneer and leader in impact investing,” says Mela Artisans Founder and CEO Navroze S. Mehta. “To have its vote of confidence and financial support means the world to us and to the many artisans who will be impacted. We both share a similar philosophy and mission of empowerment and support of artisans in India.”
For more information on the Mela Artisans collection and the artisan communities, please visit www.melaartisans.com. For more information on Aavishkaar, please visit www.aavishkaar.in.
About Mela Artisans
Mela Artisans is a design driven luxury lifestyle brand that contemporizes traditional handcrafted techniques and celebrates local artisanal skills, along with fostering entrepreneurship and sustainable social uplift in the communities in which it does business. Co-Founded in August 2010 by entrepreneur, Navroze S. Mehta and his daughter Sonali Mehta-Rao and joined by design entrepreneur, Dipali Patwa, Mela Artisans has launched collections with Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, Holt Renfrew and other fine boutiques in the U.S., Europe and Latin America and online at www.melaartisans.com.
About Aavishkaar
A global pioneer in social venture capital, Aavishkaar has overseen investments in more than 45 enterprises in India in the last decade, each of which has a scalable business model that inherently delivers developmental impact to underserved segments of society. Advising four funds with over USD 150 million under management, Aavishkaar believes in providing ‘risk-capital’ in its true sense – by investing very early in promising business models that may yet be unproven, by supporting first generation entrepreneurs who echo its belief that scalable for-profit business models can deliver sustainable developmental impact, and by investing in low income geographies that are known to be particularly difficult to operate in and therefore have the widest gaps in essential infrastructure. With a focus on semi-urban and rural impact, its investments range from USD 0.3 million to USD 8 million in healthcare, water and sanitation, education, agri-business, financial inclusion and other sectors. Please visit http://www.aavishkaar.infor more information.

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