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FirstCry Raises $15M Series C Round from Vertex, IDG, and SAIF

Vertex Venture Management, through one of its funds, led a $15 million Series C investment into Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, India’s #1 baby and kids focused e-commerce site. Vertex is a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings. IDG Ventures India and SAIF Partners, the existing investors in Brainbees, also participated in the round. Joo Hock Chua from Vertex will join Manik Arora from IDG Ventures and Ravi Adusumalli from SAIF Partners on the board of the company.

Brainbees started operations in late 2010 and owns the ‘FirstCry.com’ brand, the #1 e-commerce platform in India for babycare, kids and maternity care. It offers over 70,000 products for moms, babies and kids from more than 500 leading national & international brands. Its product catalogue includes a wide range of consumables such as diapers and toiletries, accessories such as strollers, apparel and footwear as well as books and toys for children up to the age of 15 years. The company prides itself on the widest assortment of brands and products as well as exceptional customer service.

Brainbees was founded by serial entrepreneurs Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, who previously had a successful exit at Brainvisa Technologies. “We are happy to have achieved the dominant position in the online baby and kids market and have expanded the FirstCry brand into other channels such as mobile and offline through franchisees across India. We are delighted to have Vertex, an accomplished, deep-pocketed and expert Asian e-commerce investor, join us along with IDG and SAIF as investment partners in this round,” says Supam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Brainbees.

Brainbees currently has four warehouses across India from where it ships products to its customers across 300+ towns and cities. The company also operates one of the largest supply-chain and logistics networks in India. Additionally, it also has 50 FirstCry-branded franchisee stores across 45 cities.

According to Joo Hock Chua, Managing Director and CIO of Vertex Venture Management, “We have been highly impressed with FirstCry’s dominance in the online baby and kids market and look forward to leveraging our experience and expertise in hybrid online-offline business models from our investments and direct presence in other growing markets in Asia to help grow the company aggressively. This is a strong and cohesive team that has demonstrated an exceptional track record and we are delighted to partner with them as well as with IDG and SAIF.”

Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director of IDG Ventures India Advisors, said, “Since IDG’s investment, transactions have grown rapidly, strong loyalty metrics are evident, mobile offerings have been launched and 50 franchisee stores are driving offline sales. The company has demonstrated strong traction and we welcome Vertex to help with the next phase of growth.”

Ravi Adusumalli, Managing Partner of SAIF Partners said, “As early investors in Brainbees, we have seen the company go from strength to strength and achieve clear leadership in its vertical. We are excited to have Vertex on board and this round of capital should help the company in strengthening its brand further and expanding its multi-channel offering.”

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