India-based Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd, owner of the FirstCry.com baby and kids’ ecommerce site, has raised $26 million in Series D funding. Valiant Capital led the round with participation from previous backers IDG Ventures India, Vertex and SAIF Partners.
February 2, 2015: Valiant Capital Partners, led a $26 million Series D investment into Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, India’s #1 baby and kids focused e-commerce site. San Francisco-headquartered Valiant Capital, which currently manages over $2.5 billion of assets, has a strong track record of technology investing in private and public markets globally. Existing investors IDG Ventures India, Vertex and SAIF Partners, also participated in the round.
Brainbees, which started operations in late 2010, and owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, has rapidly expanded its online dominance to other channels as well. The company now has over 100 FirstCry-branded franchisee stores across 85 cities in the country. Mobile transactions are growing the fastest and currently contributing over 50% of traffic for the company. Brainbees also now has distribution partnerships with over 5,000 hospitals reaching over a million new parents across the country every year. Today, the company is the largest multi-channel brand for baby & kids products across India.
Brainbees was founded by successful serial entrepreneurs Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, who had previously built and sold Brainvisa Technologies. “FirstCry has rapidly expanded its online dominance to achieve the leadership position in the multi-channel baby and kids market in India.
The Company is delighted to have Valiant and our existing investors as investment partners in this round. We plan to use the funds to focus on expanding our leadership across all channels (online, mobile and offline), as well investing in the growth of our private label business” says Supam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Brainbees.
The Company’s private label, BabyHug, is today the leading baby apparel brand in the country. The company has recently started to expand the brand into multiple categories beyond apparel such as baby gear. Private label sales are growing rapidly and currently contribute a quarter of the company’s sales.
According to Chris Hansen, Managing Partner of Valiant Capital, “Supam and Amitava are seasoned entrepreneurial leaders who have demonstrated their ability to build and scale-up a world-class organization. We have been highly impressed with FirstCry’s leadership and believe it is becoming one of the marquee e-commerce brands in India. We are excited to be part of this terrific company”
Board member Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director of IDG Ventures India Advisors, said “Since IDG’s early investment, the Brainbees team has continued to demonstrate superb execution and innovation capabilities which are the key drivers of their rapid growth. We welcome Valiant as a new investment partner as Brainbees extends its multi-channel leadership and also expands the BabyHug brand into new product segments”
Board member Chua Joo Hock, Managing Director and CIO of Vertex Venture Management, said “Brainbees has executed well through the strong leadership of Supam and the collective efforts of his team. With this round of financing, Brainbees will further cement its leadership and extend its dominant position. Vertex led the previous round of financing and we are happy to participate in this current round of financing.”
Board member Ravi Adusumalli, Managing Director of SAIF Partners said “Brainbees has always been the online leader in the baby and kids segment and it is great to see the team extending their leadership into the offline channel. We believe that Brainbees has the potential to dominate the baby and kids products market in India. We are therefore excited to continue our support to Brainbees and are delighted to have Valiant join us on this journey”
About Brainbees Solutions Pvt. Ltd
Started in Sep’10, Brainbees Solution is India’s largest supplier for products targeted towards pregnant mothers, baby care, kids (FirstCry.com). FirstCry brings more than 800 national and international brands with over 90,000 unique product offerings. FirstCry.com offers products for moms, babies and kids from leading national & international brands. Its product catalogue includes a wide range of consumables such as diapers and toiletries, accessories such as strollers, apparel and footwear as well as books and toys for children up to the age of 15 years. The team at FirstCry takes pride in providing world-class customer service to over 14,000 pincodes nationwide.
Valiant Capital Management, L.P. (“Valiant”) is global investment fund headquartered in San Francisco with over $2.5 billion in Assets under management. The Fund’s investment objective is to generate superior risk-adjusted returns by employing a flexible mandate that allows Valiant to search the world for the best investment opportunities – both public and private. Since inception, Valiant has made numerous private investments in the technology, e-commerce, and social media sectors in both developing markets (Yatra Online, Inc., Accelyst Solutions Pvt. Ltd (FreeCharge), VivaReal, Inc.) and the U.S (Facebook, Inc., Dropbox, Inc., Pinterest, Inc., Kik Interactive, Inc., Evernote Corporation).
About IDG Ventures India
IDG Ventures India is a leading technology venture capital fund focused on India. The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over $4 billion under management with over 220 investee companies and 10 offices across Asia and North America. IDG Ventures has been an early investor in leading digital consumer companies such as Netscape, BabyCenter, Baidu, Ctrip, Sohu and Tencent. In India, IDG Ventures has invested in leading digital consumer companies such as Flipkart, Myntra, Yatra, Brainbees (FirstCry), Valyoo (Lenskart), Vserv Digital and Ozone Media.
Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, investing in emerging companies throughout Greater Asia and the US. Since inception in 1988, Vertex has invested in more than 400 start-up companies, achieving substantial returns for investors, while helping portfolio companies realise their intrinsic value, through listings on global capital markets and acquisitions by industry leaders. Headquartered in Singapore, with regional offices in Beijing, Shanghai (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Bangalore (India) and the Silicon Valley (USA), Vertex seeks to leverage the far-reaching network presence and combined experience to create value for both investors and portfolio companies.
About SAIF Partners
SAIF Partners is an India-focused, sector and stage agnostic fund with over $1 bn capital under management. SAIF invests companies through Seed, Venture and Growth stages across sectors like Internet, Mobile, Information Technology, Consumer Products and Services, and Financial Services. SAIF has been investing consistently in India since 2002, and has more than 50 portfolio companies including MakeMyTrip, JustDial, PayTm, Bookmyshow, and Urbanladder.