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GlobalBees turns unicorn with $111.5 million Series B round led by Premji Invest

GlobalBees, a Delhi-based e-commerce roll-up startup, has joined India’s unicorn club after raising $111.5 million in a mix of equity & debt in a Series B round of funding led by Premji Invest. The round also featured participation from new investor Steadview Capital alongside existing investors FirstCry, Chiratae Ventures, SoftBank, and Trifecta Capital among others.

GlobalBees logo mockup

Illustration: TechStory

The latest round valued the company at $1.1 billion, making it the second unicorn startup in e-commerce roll-up space after rival Mensa Brands, which joined the coveted unicorn club in November. GlobalBees reached a valuation of more than $1 billion in just seven months of its inception in May 2021. Mensa Brands, on the other hand, turned unicorn within six months. GlobalBees is also the 43rd Indian startup to earn the unicorn title this year.

The funds will be used to expand the company’s product offering as well as accelerate its efforts in product innovation, hiring talent, customer experience, and scaling companies. The Thrasio-style startup currently employs more than 100 personnel. It is also in advanced talks with more than 20 brands in order to expand its acquisition portfolio. Its portfolio of companies across multiple categories includes homecare, fashion jewelry, beauty & personal care, nutrition & wellness, and eyewear.

GlobalBees seeks to invest in more than 100 brands across multiple verticals within the next three years, which include fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), home organization, sports, and leisure. It has acquired eight brands under its portfolio including Absorbia, andME, The Better Home, Prolixr, among others. The latest funding comes almost five months after GlobalBees secured $150 million in the country’s largest Series A round led by FirstCry with participation from other marquee investors.

Nitin Agarwal, CEO of GlobalBees in a statement said, “We have a deep purpose to build meaningful products across industries that address unique consumer needs. With this investment, we are well set to become India’s largest brand platform. We are an august company of exceptional founders who have built great companies online. With this infusion of capital, we can work together to take these companies global.”

Supam Maheshwari, the co-founder of FirstCry – an Indian online store for baby products, and Nitin Agarwal, former president, and group CTO, CIO, & Chief Digital Officer at Edelweiss Financial Services, co-founded GlobalBees in 2021. The startup concentrates on digital-first brands in the fast-moving consumer goods, home organization, sports, and lifestyle categories. GlobalBees acquires and invests in these brands, which sell primarily direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels and online marketplaces, with the goal of scaling them to overseas markets.

The e-commerce roll-up concept pioneered by US-based Thrasio has seen many Indian startups joining the game. Thrasio-style business models are relatively new in India, but they have been strongly accepted by the country’s startup ecosystem and venture capitalists.

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