FirstCry Raises $36M Financing Round led by Valiant and NEA

Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, India’s #1 baby and kids focused e-commerce site, has raised a $36 million Series D round led by Valiant Capital Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

San Francisco-headquartered Valiant Capital, which currently manages over $2.5 billion of assets, has a strong track record of technology investing in private and public markets globally.  NEA, one of the world’s largest and most active venture capital funds, manages more than $13 Bn in committed capital. Existing investors IDG Ventures India, Vertex and SAIF Partners, also participated in the round.

Brainbees, which started operations in late 2010, and owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, has rapidly expanded its online dominance to other channels as well.   The company now has over 100 FirstCry-branded franchisee stores across 85 cities in the country.  Mobile transactions are growing the fastest and currently contributing over 50% of traffic for the company.  Brainbees also now has distribution partnerships with over 6,000 hospitals reaching over a million new parents across the country every year.   Today, the company is the largest omni-channel brand for baby & kids products across India.

Brainbees was founded by successful serial entrepreneurs Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, who had previously built and sold Brainvisa Technologies.  “FirstCry has rapidly expanded its online dominance to achieve the leadership position in the multi-channel baby and kids market in India. The Company is delighted to have Valiant, NEA and our existing investors as investment partners in this round.  We plan to use the funds to focus on expanding our leadership across all channels (online, mobile and offline), as well investing in the growth of our private label business” says Supam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Brainbees.

The Company’s private label, BabyHug, is today the leading baby apparel brand in the country.  The company has recently started to expand the brand into multiple categories beyond apparel such as Nursery. Private label sales are growing rapidly and currently contribute a quarter of the company’s sales.

According to Chris Hansen, Managing Partner of Valiant Capital, “Supam and Amitava are seasoned entrepreneurial leaders who have demonstrated their ability to build and scale-up a world-class organization. We have been highly impressed with FirstCry’s leadership and believe it is becoming one of the marquee e-commerce brands in India.  We are excited to be part of this terrific company”.

Ben Mathias, Partner and Executive Director, New Enterprise Associates (India), Pvt. Ltd. said “With our prior experience of investing at Diapers.com in the US, we could see a lot of similarities in building a successful model. Brainbees team has demonstrated a superb execution and innovation capabilities which are the key drivers of their rapid growth. We believe that Brainbees has the potential to strengthen its domination of the baby and kids products market in India.”

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