Livemint: June 21, 2016
Mumbai: PrettySecrets.com, a Mumbai-based online lingerie platform, is raising $6 million (Rs.40 crore) in its latest round of fund-raising, according to two people aware of the development.
Singapore-based venture capital fund RB Investments Pte. Ltd is leading the latest round of fund raising, said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Existing investor Orios Venture Partners also participated in the round, he added.
PrettySecrets’s last funding round happened in September 2014, when it raised $2 million (Rs.12 crore) from venture capital firm Orios Venture Partners, early-stage investor India Quotient and a few angel investors. It had earlier raised funds from Indian Angel Network and Harvard Business Angels.
The latest round of fund-raising had been in the works for a long time, said the second person cited above, also requesting anonymity.
In March 2015, The Hindu Business Line reported that the online retailer was in talks to raise a series B round.
“The initial plan was to raise a larger round, around $10 million, but given the tough fund-raising environment, they decided to cut back on the size of the fund raise,” said the second person cited above. However, he added that the latest fund-raise is sufficient to take the company to break-even by the end of this financial year.
PrettySecrets is looking to spend the funds on adding new products and categories to its platform, he said. The company will also invest in improving its supply chain and for marketing campaigns.
Emails sent on Monday to RB Investments and Karan Behal, founder of PrettySecrets.com, did not elicit any response. Emails sent to PrettySecrets’s existing institutional investors Orios Venture Partners and India Quotient too went unanswered.
PrettySecrets.com was launched in 2012. The company was founded by Behal who comes from experience in manufacturing, export, retailing and marketing of lingerie products. The company claims to sell over 1,000 products on its platform.
RB Investments is the investment arm of Singapore-based entrepreneur Rajesh Bothra, who runs an IT distribution company Kobian Pte Ltd. Kobian sells computer components, peripherals and lifestyle products under the Mercury brand.
The Singapore-based venture capital firm has made close to half a dozen investments so far. Some of its recent investments in India include food-tech start-up Swiggy, online retailer of branded Indian food products Delight Foods, online furniture start-up CapriCoast.com and laundry services start-up 5-a-sec.
In the last three years, around seven online lingerie retailers have managed to raise funds from venture capital investors, according to data from Venture Intelligence.
Last year in September, in the biggest investment in the space, online lingerie store Zivame, owned by Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd, raised Rs.250 crore in a series C funding round from Zodius Technology Fund and Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the investment holding arm of the government of Malaysia. Existing investors Unilazer Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.
Zivame started out as an aggregator of brands, including Enamor, Amante and Jockey, but later launched private labels in an attempt to boost margins.
In 2015, another online lingerie retailer Clovia, run by Purple Panda Fashion Pvt. Ltd, raised $5 million from venture capital fund IvyCap Ventures, data from Venture Intelligence shows.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.