Ecommerce in India isn’t dead, and neither is the investment into these ventures. A fresh example of that — PrettySecrets, a Mumbai-based online lingerie retailer which has secured $6 million( Rs. 40 crore) in a Series B. According to a Mint report, the investment comes from Singapore-based VC firm RB Investments. Existing investor Orion Venture Partners also participated in the current round.
This is the second big round of funding for the online lingerie platform, which had earlier raised $2 million from VC firm Orion Venture Partners almost two years ago. The Series A round also saw the participation of a few angel investors alongside early-stage investor India Quotient.
An anonymous source close to the development says that the latest round of funding has been in the works for a very long time. The company has now raised funds somewhere in the ballpark of over $8 million.
The anonymous tipster also tells Mint,
The initial plan was to raise a larger round, around $10 million, but given the tough fund-raising environment, they decided to cut back on the size of the fund raise.
PrettySecrets plans to use the infused funds to add new products and categories to their online platform. The company also plans to invest a chunk of money into improving its supply chain and creating quirky marketing campaigns. There might also be a small possibility of entering the international markets.
But, the cherry topping of this funding round, is PrettySecrets’ claims, that it now has funds, sufficient enough to help them break-even by the end of this fiscal year. Now those are the two words every ecommerce investor is literally dying to hear, but haven’t.
Humble Beginnings + Competition
PrettySecrets started out as a women’s sleepwear brand nine years ago, and was sold across 300 retail stores including Shopper’s Stop and Pantaloons. But Karan Behl, the founder of the company decided to build his own brand and launched a chain of multi-brand offline stores under the moniker of Lace. These offline stores housed PrettySecrets lingerie alongside other major brands.
But due to the huge opportunities in the e-commerce segment, Behl decided to pivot Lace into an online store in 2012. He also decided to front the brand as ‘PrettySecrets’ which was known to a larger chunk of women. But, it soon started feeling pressure from large e-commerce brand aggregators, including Amazon, Myntra and Snapdeal.
Due to the same, it started and is now also selling its products on 12 other ecommerce platforms including Bengaluru-based lingerie marketplace Zimave. PrettySecrets now enjoys over 15 per cent market share in the online lingerie market.
In last three years, the online lingerie platforms have attracted huge investments from venture capital firms. Zimave, the online lingerie aggregator platform owned by Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt. Ltd has recently received Rs. 250 crore in Series C. It’s the biggest investment into the online lingerie segment.
PrettySecrets faces competition from another online lingerie retailer Clovia, run by Purple Panda Fashion Pvt. Ltd. It has raised $5 million in Series A from venture capital fund IvyCap Ventures.
According to industry estimates, online lingerie sites are growing by almost 300 per cent year-on-year. Other vertical players in this category are ShopImagine, Oyegirl, Cilory and HerStyle.