FirstCry raises $26 million from Valiant, existing investors

Brainbees, which started operations in late 2010, and owns the 'FirstCry.com' brand, has rapidly expanded its online dominance to other channels as well.
irstCry.com raises $26 million from Valiant

New Delhi: Brainbees Solutions owned FirstCry, India’s leading multi-channel e-tailer for baby and kids, has secured around $26 million in its Series D round of funding led by San Francisco-headquartered Valiant Capital Partners, which currently manages over $2.5 billion of assets and 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 per cent 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,” said 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, 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, 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, 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.”

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