#Asia India’s FirstCry.com is Ratan Tata’s newest investment baby


Ratan Tata has started the year with a bang as today’s funding marks the industrialist’s fourth investment in 2016

Supam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Brainbees.

Supam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO of Brainbees

Ratan Tata, one of the most prolific and visible investors in India, made an undisclosed investment into Brainbees Solutions Ltd. — the owner of the country’s largest omni-channel baby products brand FirstCry.com — the company announced today.

The latest investment brings the total amount raised by Brainbees over multiple rounds to US$69 million.

The VC firm IDG Ventures India, of which Tata is a Senior Advisor, is also an investor in Brainbees. Other well-known VCs include NEA, SAIF Partners, Valiant Capital and Vertex Ventures.

Tata has been on a bit of an investment splurge to start 2016 as this is the fourth company he has invested in this month.

On January 19, he invested in online coupon company CashKaro. A couple of weeks before the CashKaro deal, Tata put money into two companies in three days: Online pet care platform Dogspot on January 4 and startup analytics firm Tracxn on January 6.

Also Read: Online coupons venture CashKaro ropes in Ratan Tata as investor

Speaking on the investment in his company, Brainbees Founder and CEO Supam Maheshwari said in an official statement:

“A positive nod from a business leader of Mr. Tata’s stature is a great vote of confidence in the way we have created the ecosystem and validation of the business approach leading to definitive path to profitability.”

The company claims 2 million customers, with more than half of its users coming via mobile.

It owns 150 FirstCry-branded brick-and-mortar stores in 100 cities across India. Economic Times reported on January 8 that the company wants to ramp up that number to 700.

In a rather unique marketing strategy, the company hands out over 1 million FirstCry GiftBoxes to new mothers every year.

Also Read: India’s CREO raises US$3M to build its own smartphone and new OS

Founded in September 2010, FirstCry.com has over 90,000 products from 1,200 brands and covers an age range of zero to six years old.

Besides his role at IDG Ventures, Tata is also Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons and has various advisory roles in VC Firms, including as special advisor at Singapore’s Jungle Ventures.

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