GlobalBees in India joins unicorn club for its Thrasio-style brand house – TechCrunch
GlobalBees, which raised one of India’s biggest Serie A rounds earlier this year, has entered the unicorn club as the New Delhi-based company expands its house of Thrasio-style brands.
Premji Invest, the investment firm controlled by Indian tycoon Azim Premji, led the startup’s nine-month Series B funding round, the startup has revealed in a regulatory filing. The round, at around $ 110 million, values ââGlobalBees at more than $ 1.1 billion, according to the filing.
Steadview Capital and existing investors SoftBank and FirstCry also participated in the $ 110 million round. Trifecta Capital also invested $ 30 million in debt in the new cycle.
Founded by Nitin Agarwal, formerly of Edelweiss Financial, and Supam Maheshwari, founder of FirstCry, GlobalBee acquires and partners with digital native brands in categories such as beauty, personal care, home and kitchen, food and nutrition, sports and lifestyle, with a turnover rate of d business of $ 1 million to $ 20 million.
GlobalBees helps these companies scale and sell in markets and through other channels within India and outside of the South Asian market.
âWe have created and collaborated with brands in the past and have realized that most of these brands are reaching a scale after which it becomes too difficult to scale them,â Agarwal told TechCrunch in an interview earlier this year. He declined to comment on the new fundraiser.
âSupam and I have been talking about this for several years, trying to find ways to disrupt this market. We believe there is an opportunity to create a new digital native brand house.
At the time, Agarwal said GlobalBees was looking to acquire up to three dozen brands. Indian news and analysis publication CapTable, which reported on GlobalBees’ talks to lift a round at the unicorn valuation in October, said as GlobalBees was at various stages of conversations for conclude agreements with at least 15 brands.
Dozens of startups in India are now trying to replicate what is commonly referred to as the Thrasio model. (Although it’s interesting that it took Thrasio about two years to become a unicorn.)
Mensa Brands, a company similar to former fashion e-commerce CEO Myntra, recently raised a $ 135 million Series B funding round that valued the startup at over $ 1 billion. He was six months old when the funding was announced. Titan Capital, which has supported around 200 startups in India, has invested in Powerhouse91. 10club, another similar startup, raised $ 40 million earlier this year, though much of it is in debt.
Like Thrasio, several of these companies are trying to acquire brands that sell mid-to-high-end products in categories where competition is limited. In fact, some of the categories common to these brands are so underrated that even Amazon and other ecommerce companies haven’t explored them through their private label ecosystems.
With over 800 brands, India is quickly becoming a fast growing market for direct-to-consumer brands.
Many investors believe that the Amazons and Flipkarts of the world laid the foundation for digital commerce, and smarter, more profitable businesses can be built on them.
âNew social commerce models will continue to penetrate deeper into Bharat, while revenue-based funding models will provide an alternative funding option for small D2C brands concerned about diluting equity. At the same time, consumers will demand a frictionless post-payment journey (auto-populated card / customer information, RTO forecast, one-step payment). The startups providing shovels in the gold rush (Shiprocket, GoKwik) will have the potential to reap big gains, âsaid a a recent scan said.
GlobalBees joins more than 40 other India-based startups that entered the unicorn club this year, up from 11 last year. Several leading investors, including SoftBank, Falcon Edge Capital and Tiger Global, have doubled their investments in the South Asian market in recent quarters.