GlobalBees, which acquires and scales fast-growing brands on e-commerce marketplaces, has announced an investment in three more direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies.
The new entrants to the SoftBank-backed venture's house of brands are healthy-snack food brand — The Butternut Company, fitness equipment brand — Strauss, and sustainable clothing brand — Mush.
The Thrasio-styled startup now has 11 portfolio brands, including The Better Home, andMe, Prolixr, Absorbia, Yellow Chimes, HealthyHey, Rey Naturals, and Intellilens.
The Butternut Company, which was founded by Ankita M Kukreja, Sahil Kukreja, and Suhail Pansare in 2016, offers nut butters, chocolate spreads, and healthy snack foods. It claims to have served over one million customers to date.
Mush, which was founded by Ayush Agarwal and Nihar Gosalia in 2018, sells a range of eco-friendly, bamboo-based textile products. Seeking to replace cotton and polyester with bamboo fibers, the brand offers over 50 types of bath and face towels.
Strauss, which was launched by Deepak Sachdeva in 2016, sells sports and fitness equipment across categories such as fitness, yoga, skating, cricket, cycling, and more. It claims to have over 25 products, which are ranked number one on Amazon and Flipkart.
"These brands have a great growth trajectory and come with a deep purpose to build meaningful products across categories that address unique consumer needs," said Nitin Agarwal, CEO, GlobalBees.
Over the next three years, GlobalBees is looking to invest in more than 100 brands across verticals including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), sports, home organisation, and lifestyle.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after GlobalBees became one of India's youngest unicorns, or startups valued at $1 billion or more, after raising $111.5 million in Series B funding led by Premji Invest and Steadview Capital with participation from existing investors SoftBank and FirstCry. Founded in May last year, it achieved the status within six months of starting up.
Much like the other Thrasio-styled startup in the billion-dollar club, Mensa Brands became India's fastest unicorn in November last year.
The startup, founded by former Myntra CEO and Medlife co-founder Ananth Narayanan raised $135 million in Series B funding led by Alpha Wave Ventures (Falcon Edge Capital) with participation from existing investors such as Accel Partners and Tiger Global.
Last week, it added a leather brand Estalon to its portfolio, which now houses 16 D2C brands. The plan is to take the number to 50 by 2024-2025.
Besides Mensa, GlobalBees competes with UpScalio, 10Club, Powerhouse91 and G.O.A.T Brand Labs, who are all looking to replicate the success of Thrasio.
The three-year-old U.S.-based company pioneered the business model of acquiring promising third-party Amazon sellers, scaling them up with funds and expertise while offering the original founders the option of a lucrative exit.
Collectively, the Thrasio-styled startups in India pocketed over $1 billion in funding last year, as per data from Venture Intelligence.
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)