Brainbees founded FirstCry.com funded by Valiant Capital Partners, IDG Ventures India, Vertex Venture Holdings and SAIF Partners on February 02, 2015 for $ 26 million.
Firstcry.com is Asia’s largest online portal for baby products and toys. The Pune based company has large catalogue of more than 70,000 products sourced from more than 400 top international and Indian brands like Mattel Inc, Ben10, Pigeon, Funskool, Hotwheels, Nuby, Farin, Medela, Pampers, Disney, Barbie, Fisher and Mee Mee etc.,
FirstCry.com started operations in 2010 has rapidly expanded its operations. The online portal has 100 franchised stores across 85 cities in India. The portal has exclusive tied up with 5,000 hospitals where they cater to new born babies. The company has developed an in house IT system which tracks each sale at stores or through its online sale.
FirstCry.com will send an automated email or telephone made to customer to confirm the purchase. Products will be despatched after the confirmation by the customer. This in turn has helped FirstCry to make evolve strategies for customer engagement with the help of social media, discount coupons on repeat purchase and subscription model.
Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd was founded by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha. The company owns another online portal GoodLife.com catering healthcare and beauty products. Supam Maheshwari is ex an alumnus of Indian Institute of Ahmedabad has graduated from Delhi College of Engineering. He founded Brainvisa Technologies in March 2000. The company was later acquired by Indecomm Global Services. Supam Maheshwari is Chief Executive Officer of FirstCry.com.
Amitava Saha is an ex alumnus of Indian Institute of Lucknow has graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi. He has rich professional experience of working in several managerial positions. He had worked with Aricent, NIIT and BrainVisa Technologies where he was holding several key positions until he founded Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd with Supam Maheshwari. Amitava is Chief Operating Officer of FirstCry.com.
FirstCry.com has received 3 rounds of funding from 5 investors till now amounting to $55 million. They received their Series ‘B’ funding of $14 million from SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures India in February 2012. Another round of Series ‘C’ funding of $15 million received from same venture capitalists along with Temasek Holdings and Vertex Venture Holdings on January 21, 2014. On February 02, 2015, FirstCry.com received their $26 million from Valiant Capital Partners, IDG Ventures India, Vertex Venture Holdings and SAIF Partners as Series ‘D’ funding.
FirstCry.com will utilise the new round of funding for further expansion in all channels like online, offline and mobile. The company plans to strengthen it’s off line business by increasing franchisee stores count to 400 in next three years. The company further wants to concentrate of their own label business called as BabyHug and develop its products offering.
Following funding “The franchisee stores have helped customer loyalty. Repeat business is now 75%, the highest we have seen in our e-commerce portfolio,” said Manik Arora, founder and Managing Director of IDG Ventures India.
“The horizontals compete in categories that are crowded and commoditised, such as diapers. The FirstCry model, because of its vertical focus, is also relatively more capital efficient.” said Mukul Arora, Vice President of SAIF Partners, the first investor of FirstCry.
FirstCry.com founder and CEO Supam Maheshwari after funding said “The funds raised will be used to scale across channels, online, mobile and offline, and invest in growing private label business.”
According to Chris Hansen, Managing Director of Valiant Capital, “Supam and Amitava are seasoned entrepreneurial leaders who have demonstrated their ability to build and scale up a world class organisation. We have highly impressed with FirstCry’s leadership and believe it is becoming one of the marquee e-commerce brands in India. We are excited to be a part of this terrific company.”
FirstCry.com faces tough challenge from Mahindra’s Mom & me stores, BabyOye.com and online giants like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. These online portals with enormous distribution network and funding will tough competition. Customer will be spoilt for choices in long run.