Mensa fastest to get unicorn tag

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Mensa Brands is a Bengaluru-based consumer goods umbrella company that is about to raise $135 million in its Series B funding.

Led by Alpha Wave Ventures, there was also participation from its existing investors like Tiger Global Management, Norwest Venture Partners and Accel Partners. There is a new investor for them, Prosus Ventures (Naspers).

After its Series B funding round, this start-up is now valued at $1 billion. That makes it the fastest unicorn in both the Indian and Asian start-up sectors.

But this is kind of predictable for someone who is following them, as they raised $300 million in equity and debt within six months.

This company began its journey in May 2021. They planned to partner and invest in digital-first brands in fashion, home, garden, foods etc. They worked closely with the respective founders through their websites to accelerate their growth.

For that, they use a combination of initiatives across the various stages of marketing, starting from pricing to brand building. All of this is done with technology at its core. Till now, they have partnered with 12 brands.

They are integrated with them and claim that these brands grow 100% y-o-y.

It would not be a coincidence since they share a similar business model with Thrasio a US-based company that acquires and manages direct-to-consumer brands and about 100 independent Amazon sellers.

It is valued at $9 billion and reports a profit of $100 million on the revenues of $500 million. They even have plans to expand into the Indian market, even though they haven’t finalised the plans.

Mensa Brands intends to use its profits to fund its continuing partnership with the founders of these brands, and help them to become a household name. It will also invest in hiring across functions and build its tech platforms and other capabilities.

Ananth Narayanan, the founder and the CEO of Mensa Brands, said that their focus will be on digital brand building, on their partners and technology. It allowed them to grow three times their initial plan.

That primed them to build global breakout brands from India. More than 50% of their brands are run by women and also support MSMEs across India.

Niren Shah, the managing director and the head of Norwest Venture Partners India, have full confidence in the founder CEO, as he has excellent leadership experience in two major businesses.

He added that he was able to build a high-quality team. Ananth then partnered with 12 companies and embarked on a journey to build a tech-first global house of brands-from India. He was impressed by its speed and quality.

All these qualities make Niren, more confident and back the brand, which is becoming Asia’s fastest unicorn.

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