India: Paragon Partners invests $11m in women’s fashion brand eShakti

Photo: Reuters

Private equity firm Paragon Partners on Tuesday announced its sixth investment of Rs 75 crore ($11 million) in Chennai-based women’s fashion brand eShakti.

The investment was routed through Paragon Partners Growth Fund-I, per a statement. The fund was raised with a corpus of $120 million from a diverse mix of domestic and global investors last year.

Founded by Mr. B G Krishnan, a first-generation entrepreneur, eShakti claims to have become a mainstream women’s fashion clothing brand in the United States over the last 10 years. It is also present in Australia and Canada, with a design office located in New York.

“The investment from Paragon Partners is primarily needed for growth as we are building a multinational consumer brand with a global footprint. We are excited by the endorsement and opportunity that Paragon’s investment represents and we look forward to building on our history of strong growth based on a robust value proposition that gives us both scalability and a competitive advantage,” B G Krishnan, Founder & CEO, eShakti, said.

In the past, the company has raised capital from marquee investors including IDG Ventures, IvyCap and Infina Finance.

Established in 2015 by Siddharth Parekh, the younger son of HDFC chief Deepak Parekh, Paragon Partners is focused on the mid-market segment in India and make investments in five key sectors comprising consumer discretionary, financial services, infrastructure services (asset light), industrials and healthcare services. The fund typically invests $10 to $20 million in a company.

Siddharth Parekh, Co-Founder and Senior Partner, Paragon Partners, said, “eShakti is one of the early movers in addressing an under-served need for make-to-order apparel for women in the western markets. With its disruptive operating model combined with superior quality of design, fabrics and speed of execution, eShakti has been able to build a strong and growing community of loyal customers in the United States.”

In March last year, Paragon invested about $15 million in two firms including Cravatex Brands, a pan-India retail and distribution platform for lifestyle, sports and wellness, and InCred Finance, a technology-driven lender backed by Anshu Jain, the former co-chief executive of Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

Paragon made its debut investment in Mumbai-based property construction firm Capacite Infraprojects Ltd in March 2016. It made second investment of $17 million in engineering components maker Maini Precision in August the same year.