Thrasio-style venture Mensa Brands has become the fastest entrant to the celebrated unicorn club. The 2021 founded startup has achieved the $1 Bn valuation after raising $135 Mn in its Series B round led by Alpha Wave Ventures, Falcon Edge Capital in participation.
Mensa’s existing investors — Accel Partners, Norwest Ventures Partners, and US-hedge fund Tiger Global Management also participated in this round of funding.
Within six months of launch, Mensa Brands has already raised a total of $300 Mn in funding and has entered the unicorn club, breaking the record of Apna, a blue collar classified platform which crossed the $1 Bn valuation within two years of launch in September.
Mensa intends to utilise the fresh capital to continue partnering with founding teams of D2C brands and help them become household names. In addition, it’ll invest in hiring across functions and continue building out its tech platform and other growth capabilities.
Founded in May 2021 by Ananth Narayanan, Mensa Brands has already partnered with 12 brands. It claims that the majority of these brands are growing on 100% YoY.
Mensa Brands’ current portfolio includes Pune-based women apparel brand Karagiri, Delhi NCR-based jewellery brand Priyaasi and men’s casualwear brand Hubberholme, Mumbai-based men’s casual wear brand Dennis Lingo, women ethnic wear brand Ishin and smart FMCD startup Helea, Jaipur-based ethnic wear brand Anubhutee, Ahmedabad-based men’s personal care brand Villain among others.
On the development, Narayanan said, “We are grateful for the confidence from our investors and our brand partners. Our deep focus on technology and digital brand building, as well as our people, has allowed us to grow 3X of our initial plan and we at Mensa Brands are primed to build global breakout brands from India. I am especially proud that more than 50% of our brands are led by women founders and that Mensa supports small- and medium-sized businesses across the country. “
The Thrasio model is named after Massachusetts-based startup Thrasio which is at present valued in the range between $3 Bn – $4 Bn within three years of operation. The ecommerce company started consolidating third-party sellers on Amazon in the US and helped them to scale further.
The model has received appreciation across the world and several new venture have emerged following their footsteps. FirstCry’s thrasio model venture GlobalBees was among the country’s first venture which turned several heads. It bagged a massive $150 Mn in its Series A round and has already acquired around four D2C brands. Another thrasio-style venture 10Club raised the country’s largest seed round of $40 Mn in June this year. Others in the space are GOAT Brand Labs, Evenflow, Uspcalio, and Powerhouse91. It is interesting to note that Thrasio itself is entering the India market.