India’s Mensa Brands, an acquirer of fashion, home and personal care labels, on Tuesday said it had raised $135 million in a series B funding round that has helped the startup hit “unicorn” status in just six months after starting operations.
U.S. alternative asset manager Falcon Edge Capital led the fundraising, Mensa said, adding that existing investors Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management also participated in the round.
Prosus Ventures, spun out of South Africa’s Naspers in 2019, also invested in the Bengaluru-based firm in the latest round.
Chief Executive Ananth Narayanan who founded Mensa in May told Reuters the company now had a “north of a billion dollar valuation”.
Mensa acquires majority stakes in independent brands, aiming to help them scale up using technology such as data analytics and machine learning.
“We’re trying to look for brands that are not just from India but can also be taken global,” Narayanan, a former CEO at Walmart’s Indian online fashion unit Myntra, told Reuters.
The firm has a portfolio of a dozen brands which sell on online stores including Amazon, Walmart’s Flipkart and Reliance’s Ajio.
Mensa is already profitable, Narayanan said, adding it will use the new funds to invest in technology and increase the number of brands in its portfolio to around 40 by end-2023.
In addition to India, Mensa’s brands are available in the United States, the UK and Germany and are also sold via brick and mortar partner stores. Narayanan said he is looking to expand in Europe, the Middle East and some regions in South East Asia.
The company has about 60 core employees with plans to increase that to around 200 in a year’s time.