Mensa Brands, established by former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan, has raised $135 million in new funding, valued the six-month-old venture at over a billion dollars. This makes it the fastest Indian startup to become a ‘unicorn.’
NextBigBrand had reported on talks of Mensa becoming a unicorn on October 4, 2021. Mensa runs a model comparable to the US-based Thrasio, which buys profitable, well-reviewed online sellers on Amazon and turbocharges their growth with technology, retailing, and product maturity.
This $135-million Series B funding round was driven by Falcon Edge Capital’s current investor and other surviving investors like Accel, Norwest, and Tiger Global Management. Prosus (Naspers) is the latest player in the league.
Mensa has acquired 12 brands so far in divisions such as designer sarees, jewellery, men’s wear, intelligent devices, and personal care as well. Most of these brands are developing 100 percent year-on-year since the time of acquisition, the company stated.
“Our deep focus on technology and digital brand building, as well as our people, has allowed us to grow three times our initial plan, and we, at Mensa Brands, are primed to build global breakout brands from India. I am especially proud that women founders lead more than 50 percent of our brands and that Mensa supports small and medium-sized businesses across the country,” Narayanan told.
Mensa, which announced it is profitable, has raised over $300 million in equity or debt so far. Debt is a primary tool to acquire companies since it is cheaper than equity.
Mensa is among the best-funded players in the eCommerce rollup space in India, competing with GlobalBees, Upscalio, and GOAT Brand Labs. GlobalBees is also in talks to raise investment.
“Mensa demonstrates a tangible uplift through a combination of product and pricing optimization, technology-led process improvement, distribution, and marketing augmentation and fine-tuning the supply chain. These levers meaningfully accelerate the growth and margin trajectory of the brands and make them well-poised to become category leaders,” stated Navroz Udwadia, co-founder and partner at Falcon Edge Capital.