India’s Mensa Brands enters unicorn club just six months after launch

Women's fashion. Photo by Unsplash

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.

Reuters

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. 
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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.