Accel invests Rs 1 bn in Sachin Tendulkar backed Universal Sportsbiz

Universal Sportsbiz (USPL), the owner of fashion brands Wrogn, Imara, and Ms. Taken, has raised fresh investment of Rs 1 billion ($13.5 million) from venture capital firm Accel Partners India, valuing the fast-fashion retailer at Rs 12 billion ($160 billion).

Alteria Capital Advisors, a Mumbai-headquartered investment firm, also invested Rs 65 million ($1 million) in this round.

Started by Anjana Reddy in 2012, USPL targets youngsters through its fashion apparel brands. The firm relies extensively on endorsement by sportsmen and celebrities who have become the face of its brands. Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is also an investor in the company.

Together with Wrogn designed for young men with an uncompromisingly questioning attitude, women’s ethnicwear brand Imara, and signature western wear line Ms. Taken, USPL caters to a large group of young customers - both offline and online.

The brands sell at exclusive stores and multi-brand retail outlets like Shoppers Stop, besides popular fashion e-commerce portals. The firm claims its label Wrogn is one of the highest-selling fashion brands on fashion portal Myntra.

With the latest round of funds, USPL plans to expand across key markets and increase its retail presence to 1,300 stores, up from 305 currently, in two years.

“We strongly believe that each of USPL’s brands has the potential to emerge a multi-million dollar global brand, and with this investment, there is no looking back,” said Founder and Chief Executive officer, Reddy.

Accel has been an investor in the company since the beginning. The venture capital firm has invested close to ~640 million in USPL, barring the latest investment.

“In the competitive world of retail fashion, Anjana and her team have successfully built brands. The company has added tremendous value through its differentiated brands, and as it moves forward to accelerate growth, we are excited to strengthen our partnership with them,” said Mahendran Balachandran, a partner at Accel.

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