India: FirstCry snags $315m from TPG, ChrysCapital and Premji Invest

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SoftBank-backed Indian baby products retailer FirstCry has raised about $315 million from a clutch of private equity investors including TPG, ChrysCapital and Premji Invest, DealStreetAsia has independently confirmed.

The aforementioned investors have infused about $100 million each in the company. The transaction, which was a mix of primary and secondary infusions, led to an exit of early investors including Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners), Vertex Partners and MegaDelta Capital Advisors who have sold their entire stakes in the company.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the deal has valued FirstCry at around $1.9-2.1 billion.

In January, DealStreetAsia had reported that FirstCry was in advanced talks with ChrysCapital and three other investors for the fundraising.

“Of the four investors, talks with Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) could not fructify,” said an industry source aware of the latest development.

Founded in 2010 by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, FirstCry is expected to use the funding to ramp up its online and offline presence. The company also plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) over the next 18-24 months.

FirstCry claims to offer over 2 lakh baby and kids products ranging from clothing to other essentials across 6,000 brands. It has expanded its footprint to over 400 stores across India, according to its website.

The company hit headlines in January last year when it raised $300 million from SoftBank Group Corp reportedly at a valuation of $1.2 billion. Prior to the latest infusion, SoftBank Vision Fund was reportedly holding about 46.6% stake in FirstCry.

Prior to Softbank’s funding, FirstCry raised about $125 million in total from investors including IDG Ventures India (now Chiratae Ventures), SAIF Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Vertex Ventures, the venture capital arm of Temasek.

In 2016, FirstCry had acquired the franchise division of Mahindra Retail Pvt. Ltd, a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, which owned online babycare business BabyOye for $54.2 million in a cash-and-stock deal.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.