FristCry in talks with SoftBank, Alibaba to raise up to $150mn

  • November 3, 2018 3:57 PM

FirstCry,India's largest retailer of baby praducts,is in talks with China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and japan's SoftBank Group corp.,among others,to raise at least $100-$150millon as it seeks to cement its market leadership,said three people aware of the discussion.The exact quantum of funds FirstCry wants to raise is,however,yet to be finalized,said the people mentioned above,requesting anonymity.Mint could not immediately ascertain the valuation that FirstCry is seeking for the latest round.

The discussions with Alibaba and Softbank are at a fairly early stage and a deal is still far from certain,said the people cited above.If the latest talks progress to the next stage, both Alibaba and SoftBank may participate in the funding round,they addey.The round size could also end up being larger than the $100-$150millon that is being discussed currently,the people mentioned above said. FirstCry did not immediately respond to an email seeking com-ment."We never comment on speculation,"said a SoftBank spokesperson.Mint fiorst reported on june 21 that FirstCry was in talks to raise $100-$150million from new and existing investors and that it had spoken to a slew of potential investors,including singapore's Temasek Holdings and China's Tencent Holdings.

The people cited above added that while Temasek and Tencent have held talks with FirstCry,they may not invest in thelatest round.FirstCry has been in talks for nearly a year to raise frest funds,but has notyet been able to seal a deal.That,however,isexpected to change as the latest discussions are progressing seriously,said the people cited above.

If FirstCry does manage to close the latest discussions,it will mark yet yet another fairly significant fundraise thisyear for India's start-up ecosystem,Which is witnessing a massive founding boom that has already been compared to the 2014-15 funding bubble. Mint reported in August that a handful of relatively mature start-ups have been raising multiple rounds of capital in quick succession at increasingly higher Valuations. Investors have already struck more then two dozen deals of $100million or more this year,according to Tracxn data Since its founding in2010by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, FirstCry(Brainbees Solutions Pvt.Ltd)has raised more than $100million from Mahindra,IDG Ventures India (now Chiratae Ventures),New Enterprise Associates, SAIF Partners, Vertex Ventures and others.

The Pune-based firm is one of the very few Vertical e-com merce firms to have flourished in the past three years despite com petition from flipkart and Amazon India.Unlink many e-commerce fairms, FirstCry generates the bulk of its revenue from its net work of more than 300 stores,although its offline business is smaller then the online one.

Leave a Comment: