- Mensa Brands has become a unicorn after receiving $135 million in a fresh investment round headed by Alpha Wave Ventures.
- Mensa Brands has already purchased a dozen brands and is working on another 20 such acquisitions.
- Narayanan stated that India does not have enough brands and that it would be beneficial if more individuals worked on developing new brands in the country.
Mensa Brands, the brand aggregator and roll-up startup formed by former Myntra CEO and Medlife cofounder Ananth Narayanan, has become a unicorn after receiving $135 million in a fresh investment round headed by Alpha Wave Ventures (Falcon Edge Capital).
As a new investor, Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers) has joined the fundraising. Mensa Brands has already been valued at more than $1 billion in less than six months of business, making it the fastest startup to join the ever-growing league of Indian unicorns—companies valued at $1 billion or more.
Existing investors such as Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management took part in the round as well. Mensa has secured a total of $300 million in stock and loan finance.
Working on acquisitions
It has already purchased a dozen brands and is working on another 20 such acquisitions, according to Narayanan. Mensa wants to utilize the funds to expand its portfolio, as well as to invest in recruiting across departments and to continue building up its software platform and other growth capabilities.
“We are truly platform neutral and our brands are present across different platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Meesho, and others. We are excited to back more founders and brands and scale them further,” he said. “Our deep focus on technology and digital brand building, as well as our people, has allowed us to grow three times of our initial plan and we are primed to build global breakout brands from India.”
Mensa’s current round of funding comes at a time when the area is gaining traction, with businesses like SoftBank-backed GlobalBees, Goat Brand Labs, and 10club purchasing new-age brands and collaborating with them to expand their footprint.
Not enough brands in India
Narayanan stated that India does not have enough brands and that it would be beneficial if more individuals worked on developing new brands in the country. Mensa purchased trademarks such as Karagiri, Priyaasi, Dennis Lingo, Ishin, Hubberholme, Anubhutee, Helea, and Villain last month. It chooses between 51 and 75 percent stakes in these businesses and attempts to build them with their original creators. Mensa is mostly focused on fashion, beauty and personal care, and home.
According to Ashutosh Sharma, Prosus Ventures’ director of investments in India, Narayanan has significant expertise in establishing market-leading consumer brands at scale. “Their team has outstanding execution focus and technological chops to assist fledgling firms in scaling online.” “This is an exciting time for made-in-India firms, and we look forward to assisting in their future success,” he said.