Avnish Anand Takes Charge As CaratLane CEO

SUMMARY

Anand has been with CaratLane for more than eight years, joining as head of product in 2015

The move comes days after Anand's former boss and cofounder Mithun Sacheti exited CaratLane, selling his shares to Titan

Sacheti and his family held a 27.18% stake in the startup, which was picked up by Titan last week for INR 4,621 Cr

Avnish Anand, the cofounder and COO of CaratLane, has been promoted to the ecommerce startup’s CEO with immediate effect, days after his former boss and cofounder Mithun Sacheti exited CaratLane, selling his shares to Tata Group’s watchmaking giant Titan.

Sacheti and his family held a 27.18% stake in the startup, which was picked up by Titan last week for INR 4,621 Cr, valuing CaratLane at INR 17,000 Cr (around $2 Bn). Titan now holds a 98.28% stake in CaratLane.

As per the company, Titan will finance the deal through a combination of cash balances, internal accruals and debt. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and other closing conditions.

The deal is expected to be completed by October 31st, pursuant to all approvals.

Former CaratLane CEO Sacheti’s exit was also one of the largest ecommerce exits in India, second only to the Walmart-Flipkart deal, which saw the two cofounders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, get more than $1 Bn each for their stake in the ecommerce giant.

“Avnish (Anand)… was employee No.1 at CaratLane and an integral part of the founding team. He has played a stellar role in building CaratLane into what it is today,” the startup said in a statement. Anand has been with CaratLane for more than eight years, joining as the head of product in 2015 before being promoted to cofounder in 2016 and COO in 2021.

The startup also added that cofounder Gurukeerthi Gurunathan will continue to be the chief technology officer (CTO) of CaratLane.

“Mithun has been a pillar of support and a sounding board for all my ideas these past years, so of course it’s sad to see him go. But I’m really excited for this new chapter as we have a great opportunity to build a bigger and more remarkable business in front of us,” CaratLane’s new CEO, Anand, said in a statement.

Incidentally, the remaining 1.72% of the stake in the startup is locked up in ESOPs for 75 of its 400 corporate employees. Given that Titan will be acquiring the remaining stake in CaratLane as well, these employees are set to receive INR 340-380 Cr as a result.

Founded in 2008 by Mithun Sacheti and Srinivasa Gopalan, CaratLane is an omnichannel brand that manufactures and sells jewellery items in India and the US. The startup competes with other homegrown startups in the jewellery space such as GIVA, BlueStone and Melorra.

The D2C brand has logged healthy growth metrics in the past three years, growing its total income from INR 723 Cr in the financial year 2020-2021 (FY21) to INR 1,267 Cr in FY22. In 2023, its total income rose more than 71% year-on-year (YoY) to INR 2,177 Cr in FY23.

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