Thrasio-like startup GlobalBees raises $150 mn to create a house of brands

Topics Investment | equity | firstcry

GlobalBees brings in strategic capabilities across marketing and growth, technology, distribution, sourcing and branding.
India's largest Thrasio-style investment venture, GlobalBees has raised $150 million in a mix of equity and debt in a Series A led by e-commerce firm FirstCry and some of its investors with additional participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners. This is the largest Series A funding round by an Indian Thrasio style startup in the country. With this round, Vikas Agnihotri of Softbank, Harsha Kumar of Lightspeed, Atul Gupta of Premji Invest, Sudhir Sethi of Chiratae Ventures, and Kshitij Sheth of Chrys Capital will join the GlobalBees board.

“GlobalBees aims to unleash the power of product innovation by Indian entrepreneurs and strategically partner with them to help them realise the full potential of their brand and products,” said Nitin Agarwal, co-founder and CEO GlobalBees.

In the US, there is Thrasio, a digital consumer goods company that acquires private label Amazon FBA businesses and direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands.

With a focus on capital efficiency, GlobalBees looks to partner with digitally native brands across categories like beauty, personal care, home, kitchen, food, nutrition, sports, and lifestyle with a revenue rate of $1 million-$20 million. This as per the company, is proof of a great product-market fit. India is seeing an uptick of smaller brands, with nearly 120,000 new vendors selling on Amazon India, of which around 4,200 brands crossed Rs 1 crore in sales in 2020. These numbers present an excellent opportunity for GlobalBees to accelerate the D2C (direct-to-consumer) sector.

Apart from capital, GlobalBees brings in strategic capabilities across marketing and growth, technology, distribution, sourcing and branding. The other aspects include warehousing, logistics, R&D, product development, and operations.

FirstCry Co-Founder, Supam Maheshwari, and Nitin Agarwal had earlier co-founded Brainvisa Technologies back in 2000. A brainstorming session around creating a vibrant D2C ecosystem and partnering with exciting fellow entrepreneurs brought two long-time friends together to start GlobalBees.

“We are looking to partner with founders who have built brands based on unique consumer insights. The funds raised will play a crucial role in helping us scale these brands globally,” said Agarwal.

D2C companies with their agile DNA have brought in a wave of value generation in the consumer space in India. With a backdrop of rapid growth over the past few years, direct-to-consumer brands in India have come to the forefront in 2021. GlobalBees is already in the process of integrating over 10 digitally native brands in the country.

"India is at the cusp of a D2C revolution with an estimated market size of $200 billion in the next 5 years,” said Vikas Agnihotri, operating partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers. He said Indian brands have shown great promise in recent years. “We believe that GlobalBees is building great assets to accelerate the growth of digitally native brands in the country,”

Sudhir Sethi, founder, chairman, Chiratae Ventures India said GlobalBees presents a unique technology platform to consolidate D2C Brands and massively scale them in India and the world.  

Atul Gupta from Premji invest said Globalbees is deepening our partnership with Firstcry and is a strong validation of the firm’s confidence in the founders.

After getting a blockbuster exit from the PharmEasy-Medlife deal, this year Ananth Narayanan launched a new venture Mensa Brands which aims to create a technology-led ‘House of Brands’ built for e-commerce industry. Mensa also closed its Series A funding round, raising about $50 million.

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