lenskart: ETtech Deals Digest: D2C startups steal the show

Direct-to-consumer (D2C) startups shone this week, led by Lenskart subsidiary Neso Brands, which bagged its first funding. GreyOrange and B2B marketplace Fashinza were the other startups that landed big bucks.

Lenskart’s Neso Brands raised over $100 million

Neso Brands, a Lenskart subsidiary that invests in D2C eyewear brands,
raised more than $100 million in its seed round. Neso Brands said it would partner with and invest in consumer eyewear brands globally and grow them by leveraging synergies across the Lenskart Group. Lenskart is the latest entrant into brands roll-up in India, a space that has been heating up with companies such as Firstcry-backed Globalbees, Mensa, Goat Brands and Rebel Foods

D2C jewellery brand Melorra scooped up $16 million

Melorra, a D2C jewellery brand,
raised $16 million from Axis Growth Avenues, SRF Family Office, N+1 and existing investors in the first leg of its Series D round. The funding includes $14 million in equity and $2 million in debt. Founded in 2015, Melorra delivers hallmarked gold jewellery to 718 districts in India and more than 2,800 towns.


BlissClub raised $15 million led by Eight Roads, Elevation Capital

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D2C women’s activewear brand,
BlissClub raised $15 million in a new funding round led by Eight Roads Ventures and Elevation Capital. This comes less than a year after the Bengaluru-based startup raised $2.25 million in seed funding in May 2021. BlissClub did not disclose its valuation after the funding round. Over 90% of BlissClub’s sales are through its own platform, while the rest comes from ecommerce platform Amazon India and Walmart-owned fashion portal Myntra.

MasterChow picked up $1.2 million led by Anicut Capital

Ready-to-cook food brand
MasterChow raised $1.2 million in a funding round led by Anicut Capital, an Indian investment firm that deals in alternative assets. The round also saw participation from Mumbai-based WEH ventures and D2C-focussed fund Fluid ventures, among other marquee founders and angel investors. MasterChow is a ready-to-cook Asian cuisine brand that offers a range of premium Asian pantry staples like stir-fry sauces, ready-to-eat dips and noodles for quick, restaurant-style food at home.

Wow Skin Science wooed Singalore’s

Beauty and wellness brand
Wow Skin Science raised primary growth capital from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. The deal gives the ChrysCapital-backed company a post-money valuation of $400-420 million.

GreyOrange raised $110 million from Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital and others

Warehouse robotics and automation company
GreyOrange raised $110 million from Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital and other existing and new investors. It also received separate debt financing from funds and accounts managed by investment firm BlackRock. The company last raised funds in a $140-million round in September 2018.

Fashinza raked in $100 million from Prosus and Westbridge

Fashinza, the AI-driven business to business (B2B) marketplace
raised a $100 million in Series B funding round led by Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) and Westbridge. The company said it would use the funds to create a sustainable supply chain, and expand into new geographies.

Coinshift raised $15 million led by Tiger Global

Treasury management and infrastructure platform
Coinshift raised $15 million led by Tiger Global. The company will use the funds to develop its product and technology. The company will launch its latest version in beta next week, which will be available through a waitlist.

Smytten raised Rs 100 crore led by Fireside Ventures

Smytten, a product sampling and engagement platform for direct-to-consumer brands,
raised Rs 100 crore (around $15 million) in a funding round led by existing investors Fireside Ventures and Roots Ventures.

Other notable deals

■ High Street Essentials, the parent company behind women’s fashion brands, FabAlley and Indya,
raised Rs 40 crore from Stride Ventures as a combination of equity and debt. The startup plans to enter international markets like the Middle-east and the US with the new fundraise.

■ Cloud certification and skilling platform
QwikSkills has raised Rs 3.85 crore in a funding round led by angel investors Manish Sinha and Naveen Gupta of IAN.

■ Flipkart-backed fresh fruits and vegetable supply chain startup Ninjacart
raised $9 million (Rs 69 crore) from South Korea-based STIC and UK-based Mainstream Digital at a valuation of $812 million (Rs 1,050 crore), according to regulatory filings sourced by ETtech. STIC is an existing investor in Ninjacart.

■ GeoIQ, a location intelligence startup,
secured $2.25 million in funding from Lenskart and others. It said the new capital would enable it to expand globally, develop its data stack, and build various AI models by leveraging communities of data scientists.

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