Mensa Brands, a house of brands started by former Myntra and Medlife CEO Ananth Narayan, has raised $50 million in its Series A round of funding.
The funding round was led by marquee investors Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, Norwest Venture Partners as well as prominent angel investors such as Kunal Shah, Mukesh Bansal, Rahul Mehta of DST Global and Scott Shleifer of Tiger Global.
Mensa is looking to acquire and invest in online-first brands. A statement from Mensa Brands stated that its vision is to partner and invest in digital-first brands and scale them exponentially. This is the latest venture in India to launch a 'Thrasio model' business, named after the popular American company, which is an acquirer of Amazon third-party private-label businesses.
Over the next 3 years, Mensa looks to acquire 50-plus brands across categories including home, garden, apparel, personal care and beauty.
Mensa has also additionally raised debt financing facilities from Alteria Capital and InnoVen Capital.
Ananth Narayanan, founder and CEO of Mensa Brands, said in a statement, “Scaling digital brands from India is a large opportunity. Incredibly excited and passionate about partnering with terrific founders and helping scale their brands globally. Having seen this first hand at Myntra and Medlife we know the effort it takes to scale a brand digitally - we will be a true trustee of your brand.”
Narayanan previously served as CEO of Myntra, co-founder and CEO at Medlife and also, as a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company.
Several similar house of brands have emerged on the Indian startup landscape in recent months, with reports suggesting that the likes of Tiger Global will be backing a similar company founded by a former FLipkart executive. According to reports, ecommerce platform Firstcry is also expected to launch a similar venture.
“In Mensa, we see the birth of ‘Thrasio of India’ and are delighted to back Ananth and team on their vision to create India’s first digital House of Brands," Niren Shah, Managing Director and Head of Norwest Venture Partners India, said.
Subrata Mitra, Partner at Accel Partners, said, “We are excited to partner with Ananth and the team at Mensa. Not only are they truly strategic and high caliber, but also have chosen a problem of brand aggregation that we believe has the right tailwinds. With the digital acceleration of commerce globally, this model would be additive to the brand owners, the platforms and the consumers and should thus scale rapidly.”