Mumbai-based superhero merchandise retailer Planet Superheroes has raised $2 Mn (INR 13.8 Cr) in its Series A round, led by DSG Consumer Partners and with the participation of Japan-based Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund.
The fresh fund infusions will help company expand its retail footprint and distribution channels, solidify tech to optimise the entire supply chain and increase licensing partnerships across new segments and product categories.
Going forward, the company is looking to expand to Tier 2 cities and will also be launching stores along with PVR Cinemas.
Jaineel Aga, Karan Rai, and Sumit Shah founded Planet Superheroes in 2014 as an omni-channel specialty brand that focuses on selling licensed character merchandise. The company boasts of over 50 categories from apparel, toys to accessories, and claims to be a one stop shop for all superhero, cartoon and pop culture related merchandise.
Jaineel Aga, CEO and cofounder of Planet Superheroes said, “We are ever grateful that DSG continues to back us ever since our first seed round and we couldn’t have asked for better partners in this growth stage. Our company’s vision aligns very well with the core philosophy of AET’s fund and we knew they would be an excellent fit after our first meeting with Yuki. Their value addition via international introductions started even before the term sheet was signed.”
The company has an omnichannel footprint across over 15 stores, has its own ecommerce portal and tie ups with modern retailers like Hamleys and Toys R Us. The company has also partnered with Marvel, Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, Fox Studios, EONE and Disney for the official merchandise.
Yuki Kawamura, principal, and head of India Investments at AET Fund said, “Together with the strong leadership of Jaineel and Sumit, AET Fund will support introducing amazing characters and stories from all around the world to India, drawing closer to a “heart-driven world”. It is innovative businesses like these that speak to the entrepreneurial spirit of the heart.”
At the backend, the company has invested in a robust omni-channel technology stack solving critical elements of retail such as planograms with automated alerts that helps it with the ideal product curation at their stores. It also uses rule based algorithms to automate the merchandising process needing no human intervention.
“Jaineel and team have demonstrated their ability to build a capital efficient model to attain product-market fit and we are happy to back them as they scale this business through their omnichannel strategy,” said Deepak Shahdadpuri, Managing Director, DSG Consumer Partners.
According to the Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey 2018, the global licensing industry is worth $271.6 Bn global licensing industry. Apparel led all product categories with $40.67 Bn in revenue, which accounts for 15% of total global licensed retail sales, followed by Toys at $36.12 Bn (13.3% share), and Fashion Accessories at $31.04 Bn (11.4% share).