January 21, 2014: Vertex Venture Management, through one of its funds, led a $15 million Series C investment into Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, India’s #1 baby and kids focused e-commerce site. Vertex is a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. IDG Ventures India and SAIF Partners, the existing investors in Brainbees also participated in the round. Joo Hock Chua from Vertex will join Manik Arora from IDG Ventures and Ravi Adusumalli from SAIF Partners on the board of the company.
Brainbees started operations in late 2010 and owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, the #1 e-commerce platform in India for babycare, kids and maternity care. It offers over 70,000 products for moms, babies and kids from more than 500 leading national & international brands. Its product catalogue includes a wide range of consumables such as diapers and toiletries, accessories such as strollers, apparel and footwear as well as books and toys for children up to the age of 15 years. The company prides itself on the widest assortment of brands and products as well as exceptional customer service.
Brainbees was founded by serial entrepreneurs Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, who previously had a successful exit at Brainvisa Technologies. “We are happy to have achieved the dominant position in the online baby and kids market and have expanded the FirstCry brand into other channels such as mobile and offline through franchisees across India. We are delighted to have Vertex, an accomplished, deep-pocketed and expert Asian e-commerce investor, join us along with IDG and SAIF as investment partners in this round” says Supam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Brainbees. Brainbees currently has four warehouses across India from where it ships products to its customers across 300+ towns and cities. The company also operates one of the largest supply-chain and logistics network in India. Additionally, it also has 50 FirstCry-branded franchisee stores across 45 cities.
According to Joo Hock Chua, Managing Director and CIO of Vertex Venture Management, “We have been highly impressed with FirstCry’s dominance in the online baby and kids market and look forward to leveraging our experience and expertise in hybrid online-offline business models from our investments and direct presence in other growing markets in Asia to help grow the company aggressively. This is a strong and cohesive team that has demonstrated an exceptional track record and we are delighted to partner with them as well as with IDG and SAIF”.
Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director of IDG Ventures India Advisors, said, “Since IDG’s investment, transactions have grown rapidly, strong loyalty metrics are evident, mobile offerings have been launched and 50 franchisee stores are driving offline sales. The company has demonstrated strong traction and we welcome Vertex to help with the next phase of growth”.
Ravi Adusumalli, Managing Partner of SAIF Partners said, “As early investors in Brainbees, we have seen the company go from strength to strength and achieve clear leadership in its vertical. We are excited to have Vertex on board and this round of capital should help the company in strengthening its brand further and expanding its multi-channel offering.”
Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, investing in emerging companies throughout Greater Asia and the US. Since inception in 1988, Vertex has invested in more than 400 start-up companies, achieving substantial returns for investors, while helping portfolio companies realise their intrinsic value, through listings on global capital markets and acquisitions by industry leaders. Headquartered in Singapore, with regional offices in Beijing, Shanghai (China), Taipei (Taiwan), Bangalore (India) and the Silicon Valley (USA), Vertex seeks to leverage the far-reaching network presence and combined experience to create value for both investors and portfolio companies.
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Vertex Venture Management Pte. Ltd
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About IDG Ventures India (www.idgvcindia.com)
IDG Ventures India is a leading technology venture capital fund in India. The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over $5.5 billion under management with over 220 investee companies and 10 offices across Asia and North America. By combining the IDG platform — an unparalleled combination of global publishing, market research (IDC), and conferences and exhibition resources — with years of hands-on experience in early-stage company building, IDG Ventures India helps its investee companies understand their markets better and achieve leadership position ahead of competition. IDG Ventures has been an early investor in digital consumer companies such as Netscape, BabyCenter, Baidu, Ctrip, Sohu, Tencent, Vancl and VinaGame. In India, IDG Ventures has invested in leading digital consumer companies such as Myntra, Vserv Digital, Valyoo (Lenskart.com), Apalya Technologies, Sourcebits Technologies, Ozone Media and Actoserba (Zivame.com).
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About SAIF Partners:
SAIF Partners is an Asia-focused, sector and stage agnostic fund with over $4 bn capital under management. SAIF has been investing consistently in India since 2002. SAIF’s prior investments in India include MakeMyTrip.com, JustDial.com, HomeShop18.com, One97 Communications, Zovi.com, iXigo.com, Proptiger.com and Urbanladder.com.
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About Brainbees Solutions Pvt. Ltd
Started in Sep ’10, Brainbees Solution is India’s largest supplier for products targeted towards pregnant mothers, baby care, kids (FirstCry.com). FirstCry brings more than 500 national and international brands with over 35,000 unique product offerings. FirstCry.com offers products for moms, babies and kids from leading national & international brands. Its product catalogue includes a wide range of consumables such as diapers and toiletries, accessories such as strollers, apparel and footwear as well as books and toys for children up to the age of 15 years. The team at Brainbees takes pride in providing world-class customer service and 24-hours dispatch promise from its 4 state of the art warehouses across India.
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