Wednesday, 2024 February 28

SoftBank-backed baby care retailer FirstCry looks to give exit to early investors

SoftBank-backed baby care product startup FirstCry’s early investors are set to earn handsome returns on their investment in a secondary share sale that values its parent company BrainBees Solutions at USD 2.1 billion.

The backers including Chiratae Ventures, NEA, Vertex Ventures, and Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners) are looking to sell 7-9% of the stake in the Pune-headquartered omnichannel retailer for about USD 180 million, a report by local media Economic Times said, citing sources.

The development comes as the company looks to re-align its stakes before going for an IPO over the next two to three years, the report said.

To date, FirstCry has raised a total of USD 503 million across seven funding rounds. Tokyo-headquartered SoftBank came on the company’s cap table in 2019 when it picked up around 40% stake for USD 400 million in its Series E round which valued BrainBees at around USD 1.1 billion.

The proposed secondary deal would double the valuation of the company, which has mandated investment bank Avendus Capital to look for potential buyers.

“Global private equity, large family offices have been sounded off and term sheets will be submitted soon,” the report said quoting a source.

Founded in 2010, FirstCry has emerged as one of the biggest players in baby and mother care segment in the world’s second-most populous country. In 2015, the company’s co-founders Amitava Saha and Supam Maheshwari decided to spin off the firm’s in-house logistics unit into a separate entity called XpressBees.

Subsequently, XpressBees independently raised money from Alibaba, Elevation Capital, IDG Ventures India, NEA, Vertex Ventures, and Valiant Capital and is now one of the largest e-commerce-focused logistics company, handling over two million daily shipments across the country. In late 2020, XpressBees raised USD 110 million in a Series E funding round from private equity firms Investcorp, Norwest Venture Partners, and Gaja Capital.

FirstCry is one among those large, homegrown startups which are looking to go public over the next few years. The list includes e-commerce major Flipkart, eyewear retailer Lenskart, beauty products firm Nykaa, and food delivery giant Zomato, among others.

Moulishree Srivastava
Moulishree Srivastava
In-depth, analytical and explainer stories and interviews on technology, internet economy, investments, climate tech and sustainability. Coverage of business strategies, trends in startup and VC ecosystems and cross-border stories capturing the influence of SEA, China and Japan on the local startup industry.

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