India’s D2C Economy: Thrasio’s Attraction To India

India’s D2C Economy: Thrasio’s Attraction To India


Thrasio is coming to India at a time when ecommerce roll-ups, D2C platforms are all the rage, with investors backing a slew of startups

Dear reader,

It’s not incidental that the first edition of India’s D2C Economy by Inc42 follows the footsteps of one of the largest funding rounds in the global D2C segment, where Thrasio raised $1 Bn at a valuation of $10 Bn from private equity players and VCs. P.S: With plans for India ?

D2C brands, business models and platforms are arguably the biggest game-changer in retail since ecommerce and that’s why we at Inc42 think it’s the right time to dive into the world of D2C every Wednesday.

But what’s that got to do with Thrasio, a name that most Indians might not even be familiar with? We think that’s about to change with the fresh funds, and we will get into that in a minute. ⏱

First, here are two stories that caught our attention in the week gone by:

  • Nykaa is all set for its IPO this week and the unicorn said the larger vision is to transform into a ‘house of brands’ from a multi-brand retailer. Here’s the story
  • Here’s how Indian electronics startup boAt rose through the ranks to become the fifth-largest wearables brand globally.

The Thrasio Bull Run ?

It’s the decacorn that pioneered the concept of ecommerce roll-ups and is also largely credited with bringing about the house of brands concept in the ecommerce space. And now, Thrasio is eyeing the Indian market.

Founded in 2018 by Carlos Cashman and Joshua Silberstein, Thrasio is said to have earmarked $500 Mn for acquisitions of digital-first brands in India, starting with electronics startup Lifelong. And after raising $1 Bn at a valuation of $10 Bn, Thrasio is planning to expand to India.

? The Opportunity: According to Inc42 analysis, India’s ecommerce industry is pegged to reach $200 Bn by 2026. Amazon India claims to have 850K+ sellers, while Flipkart has 350K+ sellers — two major sources for Thrasio to acquire sellers.

?? Why India? With several online marketplaces that have built up niches in various geographies, and categories, India offers a large addressable base for Thrasio.

✋Will Sellers Join Thrasio? Well, it’s certainly more likely now than in the past — Amazon was recently found to have systematically copied Indian products for its private-label brands. Marketplaces are public enemy No. 1 for sellers these days. 

?The Rivals: Thrasio gets its name from thrasos, an ancient Greek concept related to courage. It’s certainly a bold move to enter India when dozens of Thrasio-like players, houses of brands and ecommerce roll-ups have emerged. 

GlobalBees, GOAT Brand Labs, Good Glamm, Evenflow, 10Club, Upscalio, and Powerhouse91 are among the platforms rapidly acquiring companies. 

Ankit Nagori’s food-centric roll-up Curefoods acquired seven D2C food brands, while Bengaluru-based Mensa Brands acquired 10 D2C brands within six months of launch.

?The big question: Will Thrasio’s entry worry these players, or will it be Thrasio that has to be more wary of the Indian brigade? 

☕ Startups High On Coffee

If there’s one category within the D2C segment which truly owns the D2C way is its coffee brands. Here are the startups and brands giving Indians their daily dose of coffee.

There’s more where that came from. Inc42’s free report on customer perception of Indian D2C coffee brands paints an interesting picture on which brew is buzzing.

D2C Discovery: Imagine Meats ?

There’s nothing like a snack to go with your coffee — Riteish and Genelia Deshmukh believe health-conscious Indians and aspiring vegans are ready to turn to plant-based meat substitutes.

The Bollywood couple’s ‘veg meat’ startup currently offers plant-based meat alternatives for ready-to-eat categories like biryanis, patties, kebabs, minces and more.

?The Idea: The idea came during a trip to the US, where vegan meat substitutes are prominent. The duo wanted to bring similar high-quality products to the Indian market.

? Business Model: Made in India, Imagine Meats products retail in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Hyderabad and are also sold directly through its native online store.

?Roadmap: The bootstrapped startup is looking at proteins from fungi, algae, and fruits to diversify its product range and has ambitions to enter the international market. Read the full Imagine Meats’ story on Inc42.

D2C Buzz In India 

  • ?️Nykaa Goes Shopping. The IPO-bound company acquired skincare brand Dot & Key, ahead of its public offering set to open on October 28
  • ?Dia Mirza, Malaika Khan Turn Investor. Dia has backed D2C sustainable-educational toys brand shumee, while Malaika has invested in ayurvedic products brand Kapiva.
  • ?Cooking Up A Storm. Kitchenware brand The Indus Valley has bagged $1.1 Mn to expand its toxin-free product lineup.
  • ?Beauty Is Buzzing. GlobalBees has acquired skincare brand Prolixr which develops beauty and personal care products using natural ingredients.
  • D2C ? Short Videos. Social and video commerce platforms are giving D2C brands greater exposure than ever before. Here’s why the relationship works.
  • ?Join Our D2C Extravaganza! The second edition of The D2C Summit is scheduled for December 3 and 4, featuring India’s biggest brands and ecommerce platforms.

Global D2C Trendsetters 

  • Microsoft ❤️Shopify. The tech giant will enable more than 1.7 Mn Shopify stores to reach consumers more easily through its Bing search engine, Edge browser and Microsoft Start news service page.
  • Wish your perfume came with a tattoo? Israel-based Amkiri has secured $3 Mn to increase D2C and licensing operations for its visual fragrance product, which is applied as a temporary tattoo and is also a perfume.
  • Investors ? cannabis. German D2C medical marijuana products maker Bloomwell Group has bagged a seed round of $10 Mn, which is claimed to be the largest seed investment for a European cannabis company.

That’s all for now!

Till next week,
Nikhil Subramaniam

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