India’s GlobalBees joins unicorn club for its Thrasio-like house of brands – TechCrunch


GlobalBees, which raised one of the largest Series A financing rounds in India earlier this yr, has entered the unicorn club because the New Delhi-headquartered agency scales its Thrasio-like house of brands.

Premji Invest, the funding agency managed by Indian tycoon Azim Premji, led the nine-month-old startup’s Series B financing spherical, the younger agency disclosed in a regulatory submitting. The spherical, about $110 million, values GlobalBees at over $1.1 billion, the submitting confirmed.

Steadview Capital, and current traders Lightspeed, SoftBank and FirstCry, additionally participated within the $110 million fairness spherical. Trifecta Capital moreover invested $30 million as debt within the new spherical.

Founded by Nitin Agarwal, previously of Edelweiss Financial, and Supam Maheshwari, a founder of FirstCry, GlobalBees acquires and companions with digitally native brands throughout classes corresponding to magnificence, private care, house and kitchen, meals and vitamin, and sports activities and way of life, with a income charge of $1 million to $20 million.

GlobalBees helps these companies scale and promote to marketplaces and thru different channels in India and outdoors of the South Asian market.

“We have created and engaged with brands in the past and realized that most of these brands reach a scale after which it becomes too difficult to scale them,” Agarwal instructed TechCrunch in an interview earlier this yr. He declined to touch upon the brand new fundraise.

“Supam and I have been talking about this for several years, trying to find ways to disrupt this market. We think there’s an opportunity to create a new house of brands that is digital-native.”

At the time, Agarwal mentioned GlobalBees was seeking to purchase as much as three dozen brands. Indian information and evaluation publication the CapTable, which reported about GlobalBees’ talks to boost a spherical on the unicorn valuation in October, mentioned then that GlobalBees was in several phases of conversations to close deals with at least 15 brands.

Some of the brands GlobalBees has acquired in current months. (Data: Tracxn)

Scores of startups in India in the present day are attempting to duplicate what’s popularly generally known as the Thrasio-model. (Though it’s value noting that Thrasio took about two years to grow to be a unicorn.)

Mensa Brands, the same enterprise by former vogue e-commerce Myntra’s chief govt, recently raised a $135 million Series B financing round that valued the startup at over $1 billion. It was six months outdated on the time of the funding announcement. Titan Capital, which has backed about 200 startups in India, has invested in Powerhouse91. 10club, one other related startup, raised $40 million earlier this year— although a lot of it was in debt.

Like Thrasio, a number of of these companies are attempting to amass brands that promote midrange to high-end merchandise in classes the place competitors is restricted. In reality, some of the classes which can be frequent amongst these brands are so underappreciated that even Amazon and different e-commerce companies haven’t explored them via their personal label ecosystems.

With greater than 800 brands, India is shortly turning into a fast-growing market for direct-to-consumer brands.

Many traders imagine that the Amazons and Flipkarts of the world have laid the rails for digital commerce, and smarter and extra worthwhile companies may be constructed atop them.

“Newer models on social commerce will continue to penetrate deeper into Bharat while revenue based financing models will provide an alternate financing option to equity dilution conscious smaller D2C brands. At the same time, consumers will demand frictionless post-checkout journey (auto filled card/customer details, RTO predicts, one step checkout). Startups providing shovels in the gold rush (Shiprocket, GoKwik) will have the potential to reap big wins,” a recent analysis said.

GlobalBees joins over 40 different India-based startups which have entered the unicorn club this yr, up from 11 final yr. Several high-profile traders, together with SoftBank, Falcon Edge Capital and Tiger Global have doubled down on their investments within the South Asian market in current quarters.

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