The Souled Store is planning to grow its D2C business from Rs 200 crore to Rs 1,000 crore in the next four years. The Mumbai-based company also aims to strengthen its product portfolio on both licensed merchandise and casual wear, build better brand awareness and deepen its retail footprint across 15 cities pan India.
In line with its growth plans, the youth casual wear brand has recently raised Rs 75 crore in Series B funding led by Elevation Capital. The investment round has also seen participation from angel investors Sahil Barua (Co-Founder & CEO, Delhivery), Gunjan Soni (CEO, Zalora; Ex-CMO, Jabong), Revant Bhate (Co-Founder & CEO, Mosaic Wellness), Ramakant Sharma (Founder & COO, Livspace), Ashish Goel (Founder & CEO, Urban Ladder), Rohit Kapoor (CEO, INSEA at OYO), Mukund Kulashekaran (SVP of Business, Urban Company), and Varun Duggirala (Co-Founder, The Glitch).
Vedang Patel, Co-founder, and CEO, The Souled Store, said, “We are super excited to be partnering with a highly reputed fund like Elevation Capital that believes in this vision. Their vast experience in backing and helping scale some of the biggest start-ups in India makes them the perfect partner for us. The focus going forward will be to introduce a variety of new product categories, enhance our customer reach, and expand our offline presence pan India to fulfill our aim of crossing Rs 1,000 crore GMV by 2025.”
Commenting on the funding, Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital, stated, “The Souled Store has successfully capitalized on India’s pop culture, which has led to its unique positioning. We were thoroughly impressed by the kind of scale that the company has built-in a capital-efficient manner. This growth is a consequence of the company’s relentless focus on customer experience to drive loyalty & data-driven merchandising to manage inventory and keep operations lean. We are super excited to partner with the team in the journey ahead of building The Souled Store into India’s most loved D2C casual-wear brand.”
Founded in 2013 by Vedang Patel, Aditya Sharma, Rohin Samtaney, and Harsh Lal, The Souled Store was one of the first brands to bring in licensed merchandise and is currently India’s largest fan merchandise destination with licenses including Disney, Warner Bros, WWE, IPL teams, EPL Teams and Viacom18. The company designs, manufactures, and retails a wide range of apparel products with designs ranging from pop-culture themes like superheroes (Marvel and DC universes), movies (Star Wars, Harry Potter), TV shows (Friends, Game of Thrones), and cartoons (Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry), and has partnered with 150+ franchisees.
“The Souled Store was started with the idea of doing what you love, from the soul. That’s what sets us apart, the people behind the scenes love what they do, and that shows in our work. From day 1, our aim has been to create a truly homegrown brand that focuses on three important aspects, great products, unique designs, and outstanding service. This is what has also led to the high-repeating cult-like customer base that we have built. Today, we’ve become the one-stop destination for all things pop culture in the country,” Patel informed.
The company was bootstrapped for the first five years and received seed funding from RP-SG Ventures in November 2018. Since then, the company has grown over 4X by focusing on data, customer insights, and feedback, and keeping customer satisfaction above all else. Everything from designing to the fit of the product is constructed using an algorithmic-driven approach, making sure customers receive an unmatched experience. This attention to the product along with strong company culture is the reason The Souled Store grew even during the pandemic and that too profitably, something unheard of in the apparel space. The Souled Store has become India’s one-stop destination for pop culture merchandise with over 3 million registered users and is on track to do a Rs 500 crore GMV next year.