India: Online lingerie retailer PrettySecrets raises $6.13m from RB Investments

PrettySecrets.com, a Mumbai-based online lingerie platform, is raising $6 million (Rs.40 crore) in its latest round of fund-raising, according to two people aware of the development.

Singapore-based venture capital fund RB Investments Pte. Ltd is leading the latest round of fund raising, said the first person cited above, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Existing investor Orios Venture Partners also participated in the round, he added.

PrettySecrets’s last funding round happened in September 2014, when it raised $2 million (Rs.12 crore) from venture capital firm Orios Venture Partners, early-stage investor India Quotient and a few angel investors. It had earlier raised funds from Indian Angel Network and Harvard Business Angels.

The latest round of fund-raising had been in the works for a long time, said the second person cited above, also requesting anonymity.

In March 2015, The Hindu Business Line reported that the online retailer was in talks to raise a series B round.

“The initial plan was to raise a larger round, around $10 million, but given the tough fund-raising environment, they decided to cut back on the size of the fund raise,” said the second person cited above. However, he added that the latest fund-raise is sufficient to take the company to break-even by the end of this financial year.

PrettySecrets is looking to spend the funds on adding new products and categories to its platform, he said. The company will also invest in improving its supply chain and for marketing campaigns.

Emails sent on Monday to RB Investments and Karan Behal, founder of PrettySecrets.com, did not elicit any response. Emails sent to PrettySecrets’s existing institutional investors Orios Venture Partners and India Quotient too went unanswered.

PrettySecrets.com was launched in 2012. The company was founded by Behal who comes from experience in manufacturing, export, retailing and marketing of lingerie products. The company claims to sell over 1,000 products on its platform.

RB Investments is the investment arm of Singapore-based entrepreneur Rajesh Bothra, who runs an IT distribution company Kobian Pte Ltd. Kobian sells computer components, peripherals and lifestyle products under the Mercury brand.

The Singapore-based venture capital firm has made close to half a dozen investments so far. Some of its recent investments in India include food-tech start-up Swiggy, online retailer of branded Indian food products Delight Foods, online furniture start-up CapriCoast.com and laundry services start-up 5-a-sec.

In the last three years, around seven online lingerie retailers have managed to raise funds from venture capital investors, according to data from Venture Intelligence.

Last year in September, in the biggest investment in the space, online lingerie store Zivame, owned by Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd, raised Rs.250 crore in a series C funding round from Zodius Technology Fund and Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the investment holding arm of the government of Malaysia. Existing investors Unilazer Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round.

Zivame started out as an aggregator of brands, including Enamor, Amante and Jockey, but later launched private labels in an attempt to boost margins.

In 2015, another online lingerie retailer Clovia, run by Purple Panda Fashion Pvt. Ltd, raised $5 million from venture capital fund IvyCap Ventures, data from Venture Intelligence shows.

Also read:

Ratan Tata invests in online lingerie retailer Zivame

Indian lingerie e-tailer Zivame bags $40m funding from Malaysia’s Khazanah, others

This story was first published on livemint.com

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.