Former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan’s new startup Mensa Brands has announced the closure of its Series A funding round, raising approximately USD50 million. The round was led by Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, Norwest Venture Partners along with angel investors such as Kunal Shah, Mukesh Bansal, Rahul Mehta of DST Global, and Scott Shleifer of Tiger Global. Additionally, debt financing facilities from Alteria Capital and InnoVen Capital are also secured, the company stated.
According to the startup, the fund will be used to nurture, accelerate and scale digital-first brands.
Mensa Brands will build global digital first-brands — across lifestyle, home and beauty categories — from India by partnering with the right entrepreneurs, investing into the business and bringing its expertise to bear to scale the brand. “We identify and invest into proven digital first brands in the Lifestyle, Home and Beauty verticals. Leveraging our expertise in driving growth, product, merchandising, technology, supply chain, product and access to global markets, we profitably grow brands beyond 10x in a very short period of time. We go from the first discussion to cash in the bank within a span of four weeks, thereby allowing an accelerated focus on business,” the company states on its website.
Founded by Narayanan, Mensa’s core team includes Pawan Kumar Dasaraju, formerly in Myntra, Swiggy and Aditya Birta Retail, and Aniket Nikumb, ex McKinsey and Apax Partners.
As per the company statement, the founding team has a combined experience of over 60 years in Indian and global e-commerce. ”Ananth and his team bring in-house domain expertise in marketplace-native technology, data mining and digital marketing, category management and operations, brand building, and global expansion,” it states.
Commenting on the investment, Subrata Mitra, Partner at Accel Partners said, “We’re excited to partner with Ananth and the team at Mensa. Not only are they truly strategic and have a high calibre, but also have chosen the problem of brand aggregation that we believe has the right tailwinds. With the digital acceleration of commerce globally, this model would be additive to the brand owners, the platforms and the consumers and should thus scale rapidly.”
Navroz Udwadia, Co-founder of Falcon Edge, added, “Ananth and Mensa are creating a fast growth and profitable start up – a rare combination, and we fundamentally believe that a tech led roll up play across categories will create immense value”
“In Mensa, we see the birth of ‘Thrasio of India’ and are delighted to back Ananth and team on their vision to create India’s first digital House of Brands,” Niren Shah, Managing Director and Head of Norwest Venture Partners India said.