money, funding, ian

This is probably one of those rare investment instances (at least in India), wherein we are seeing a manufacturing startup raising capital for operations expansion. Prothom, a 2014 founded manufacturing startup, building toys for brands like Hasbro, has received $2 Million in a Series A round from Oliphans Capital.

Oliphans Capital is an early stage investment firm, founded in 2012 by Anish Jhaveri and Mohit Gulati. Oliphans typically invests in the range of $ 0.5 – 3.0 Million and is unique in its ability to provide both equity and debt capital to its investee companies.

Prothom has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Pune, where it builds toys for world’s second largest toy maker, Hasbro. Prothom is currently employing  300 women in its factory and has an additional team of 70 people to manage the business.

Founded by Arun Chandrachud, Prothom aims to highlight India as a manufacturing hub, something pretty much in sync with Narendra Modi’s aggressive Make In India campaign. Arun tells me,

We started Prothom with the aim of highlighting the manufacturing capabilities in India to the world. Being appointed as the key manufacturer for Hasbro has been a big win.

Prothom’s manufacturing, while obviously adhering to Hasbro’s stringent standard and quality checks, also goes to prove the fact, that India too can be a low cost, high yield manufacturing hub, something labelled with China more often.

We are happy that they (Hasbro) found us fitting for their first outsourcing engagement in India.This is at variance with the perception that India is not cost competitive vs China in manufacturing.

says Arun.

Oliphans Capital, the investors leading this round, say that they are very bullish on Narendra Modi’s campaign of ‘Make In India’ and were on the lookout for a manufacturing opportunity, an area which is not sought after by venture capitalists.

Talking about their recent investment, Anish Jhaveri, Founder, Oliphans Capital said,

In Prothom, we see a $200 million opportunity over the next 2 years. India is fast becoming very cost competitive vs China in terms of labour costs and we are very bullish on the toy industry – globally. In Prothom, we see a beginning of manufacturing start ups being funded in India.

Armed with fresh funding,  Prothom believes that with its domain expertise in plastics, mechatronics, and high volume assembly, it will be able to garner a large share in India’s growing outsourced toy manufacturing industry. It also plans to diversify its customer base by 2016-17.


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