Mensa Brands raises $50 mn in funding

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Mensa Brands has raised close to $50 million in series A funding from Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, and Norwest Venture Partners. It is a startup founded by former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan. The startup also had angel investors Kunal Shah, Mukesh Bansal, DST Global’s Rahul Mehta, and Scott Shleifer of Tiger Global who participated in the financial round.

In a statement issued on Monday, the firm said that it also secured debt financing from Alteria Capital and Innoven Capital.  

The company aims to bring a host of brands under its umbrella and to partner and invest in digital-first brands. Mensa is planning to acquire more than 50 brands across categories including apparel, personal care, and beauty, home, garden over three years.

The concept is similar to the one followed by US-based company Thrasio, where the company acquires third-party brands that sell on Amazon and helps build on their growth.

Narayan told Financial Express that, after the acquisition, Mensa will be using advanced technology, product, and their e-commerce expertise to scale up the brands. They will try and grow these brands not just in India but also globally Mensa is looking to acquire brands in the mid-sized band which makes revenues in the range of Rs 10 crore -Rs 70 crores annually. The firm wants brands that are primarily online and are EBITDA profitable so that more than 70% of their revenues are sourced from online.

He also added that founders come and work with them because they believe that their brans will prosper faster while working with and doing a partnership with Mensa.

He also added that they get a financial return upfront which means Mensa pays them when they buy a majority of their firms. It is a win-win deal for the firms because they continue to profit from the brand as and when it grows in the future.

Mensa aspires to build a “technology-led house of brands for the e-commerce world”. It said that it will scale up the brands through the application of operational improvement, growth marketing, and working capital management.

Subrata Mitra, Partner at Accel Partners, said that this model will be additive to the brand owners, the platforms, and the consumers and hence should scale up rapidly with a digital acceleration of commerce happening globally.

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