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Indian Sovereign Wealth Fund NIIF, Premji Invest Get CCI Nod To Invest In FirstCry

Indian Sovereign Wealth Fund NIIF, Premji Invest Get CCI Nod To Invest In FirstCry

Since the sale is secondary in nature, the money is not being pumped into FirstCry, i.e. existing stakeholders are selling their shares to new investors

FirstCry’s existing investor Softbank has offloaded and still retains over 30% of the company

The current captable change is a part of a larger $240 Mn round at a $2 Bn valuation and marks NIIF’s first investment in the digital startup ecosystem in India

Indian sovereign wealth fund National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) has received a CCI nod to pump $100 Mn in Supam Maheshwari’s kids’ product marketplace FirstCry. 

FirstCry’s existing investor Softbank, among others, has offloaded a part of its shareholding and still retains 30% of the company. Alongside NIIF, existing investor Premji Invest has also picked additional shares in the round. 

As previously reported by Inc42, FirstCry’s early backers including Vertex Ventures and Elevation Capital may have sold about 7%-9% of their stakes in the startup. Other confirmed secondary stake-sellers include Chiratae Ventures and Newquest Capital Partners.

Since the sale is secondary in nature, i.e. stakeholders selling their shares to new investors, the money is not being pumped into FirstCry. Only the captable for the startup changes post the round.

The IPO-bound startup was founded in 2010 by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha. FirstCry offers different categories of baby and kids products from clothing to other essentials. 

With a user base of 4 Mn+ and a retail footprint of over 300 stores, FirstCry is spread across 125 cities. The Pune-based startup claims to offer 200K baby and kids products across 2,000 brands.

Firstcry had entered the unicorn club last year, after raising $296 Mn (INR 2,120 Cr) in a Series E round from Japan-based Softbank’s Vision Fund in February 2020. 

The unicorn-making round was the first tranche of a $400 Mn (INR 2,905 Cr) funding committed by Softbank. The remaining INR 703 Cr ($100 Mn) was invested by Softbank on the anniversary of the transaction — in January 2021.

The current captable change is a part of a larger $240 Mn round at a $2 Bn valuation and marks NIIF’s first investment in the digital startup ecosystem in India. NIIF has three types of funds — Master Fund, Funds of Funds and Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF).

  • Master Fund makes investments in the core infrastructure sector
  • Fund of Funds makes investments in equity funds to invest in healthcare, education, financial services, logistics and consumer services
  • SOF invests in growth and development stage investments in companies and sectors that are strategically important to the Indian economy

Apart from FirstCry, its parent company Brainbees also owns Thrasio-style unicorn Globalbees, delivery platform and soonicorn XpressBees, edtech Edubee Solutions, among others.