GlobalBees, a Thrasio-style investment firm, announced on Monday that it had secured $150 million in a combination of equity and debt. This is one of the biggest Series A rounds ever secured by a startup in India. Three-month-old GlobalBees’s funding round led by FirstCry – an Indian online store for baby products.
The round was also participated by FirstCry’s existing investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Premji Invest, Chiratae Ventures, SoftBank, and Chrys Capital. As part of, the investment SoftBank’s Vikas Agnihotri, Lightspeed’s Harsha Kumar, Premji Invest’s Atul Gupta, Chiratae Ventures’ Sudhir Sethi, and Chrys Capital’s Kshitij Sheth will represent the GlobalBees board.
The Thrasio-style model describes a firm that acquires rapidly developing online brands in order to build a portfolio of products while also assisting them in scaling and considerably expanding their businesses through investments in technologies, cash flow, and marketing initiatives. Thrasio is a Boston-based e-commerce venture that revolutionized the concept of absorbing and growing small retailers and brands retailing on Amazon. The US-based firm has now had $1.85 billion in equity and debt since its inception in 2018.
Thrasio generates around $500 million in revenue, $100 million in profit, with a valuation of $3 billion. This concept has taken up in India, where over a half-dozen ventures are attempting a similar strategy. Former Medlife and Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan is one of those aiming to explore a Thrasio-like platform. It has secured $25 million in funding from Accel, Falcon Edge, and Norwest Venture Partners.
GlobalBees, founded by Nitin Agarwal, a veteran Edelweiss Financial executive, and Supam Maheshwari, the co-founder of FirstCry, acquires and collaborate with digital commerce brands in categories such as beauty, personal care, home and kitchen, food and nutrition, sports and lifestyle, with revenue ranging from $1 million to $20 million. In addition to strategic partnerships and acquisitions, GlobalBees seeks to assist businesses in scaling and diversifying their digital footprint using direct-to-consumer channels. It also intends to help with product development, branding, and other critical activities like inventory management and logistics.
The company added that India is seeing a surge in smaller brands, with roughly 120,000 new merchants selling on Amazon India, showcasing the market possibilities in the nation. The New Delhi-headquartered startup claims, over 4,200 brands have exceeded Rs. 1 crore in sales in 2020 alone. GlobalBees is currently connecting over 10 digital commerce brands. GlobalBees now has branches in New Delhi and Bengaluru and will depend on FirstCry’s leadership role in the international supply and distribution segment.