Let us talk about unicorn startups. A unicorn startup is a privately-held one the value of which increases to more than USD 1 billion.
It is the Golden club, wherein according to an expert, only 0.001% of the startups are able to enter. A lot of investment, hard work, and dedication are required for a startup to be able to achieve this milestone.
The COVID 19 had put the economy on the stop, there was nothing much happening. It was actually going down. So, the startups and the businesses had suffered a lot in the financial year 2020-2021.
There were employment issues, people were losing their jobs, there was no money being circulated in the economy.
But the year 2021, has shown a positive response. The economy has opened up, the lockdown has been removed, and the startups and businesses are back in action.
We are now hearing daily the news of fundings, investments, entry, and exits, mergers and acquisitions, and whatnot.
One of the striking features of the year 2021 is that it is seeing a drastic increase in the number of unicorn startups. We are currently in the month of November, and we have reached the 36th unicorn startup of the year 2021.
Below now, let us discuss the 36th unicorn startup which has been announced recently.
Announcement of the 36th unicorn startup of the year 2021
The startup, Mensa Brands, has raised a funding of USD 135 billion, as announced on November 16, 2021. This round of funding was the Series B round of funding and was led by Alpha Wave Ventures (Falcon Edge Capital).
The new investor also joined the startup in this round of funding, which was the Prosus Ventures, which was previously known as Naspers. The other participants in this round of funding were the existing investors- Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Tiger Global.
The startup plans to use the funds raised in getting new partnerships. The startup also plans to use a portion of the funds in investing in the core Mensa team.
Post this round of funding, the value of the startup has increased to more than USD 1 billion, thus entering the famous “Unicorn Club”.
After this round of funding, the total funds raised by the startup have come up to USD 300 million in equity and debt.
It has been just six months since the startup was incorporated, and it has already turned into a unicorn, thus becoming the fastest Indian startup to get the status of a unicorn.
About the newly funded startup which has turned into a unicorn
The startup, Mensa Brands, was founded in Bengaluru by Anath Narayanan.
The startup is of the vision to bring joy to customers by building global brands for the digital age. The mission of the startup is to partner with the best founders to grow digital-first brands using technology.
The values followed by the startup are as follows-
Think Big- Think 100x. It believes in using technology for non-linear growth. It is of the strong belief that failure and experimentation are essential for growth.
Fair, Fast, and Founder Friendly- It believes in being a partner of choice, who is ethical, transparent, and collaborative.
Customer Delight- Customer love matters. It is of the belief that each of the brands of the startup needs to be in the top decile of customer experience.
Caring Meritocracy- The startup believes in attracting and growing the best talent. It creates an inclusive culture where the best ideas win and there is an obligation to engage and dissent.
Frugality- The startup is frugal with capital and uses innovation to grow brands in a sustainable manner.
How does the startup work with the brand founders?
Following are the processes the startup follows while working with the brand founders-
Step1- Getting to know the Brand-
The startup is curious to know about the brand and its founders. It invests in understanding the journey of the brand both financially as well as qualitatively. The time taken for this step is 1-2 detailed meetings.
Step 2- Valuation and Commercial Construct-
The startup values what the brand has built. The startup comes back to its customers with a fair and transparent commercial construct which it shapes along with the customer. The time taken for this step is 48 hours.
Step 3- Due diligence and deal closure-
The startup understands that the customer has business to run and thus it ensures streamlined due diligence. For this step, the startup ensures that the time taken is 4 weeks.
Step 4- Accelerate the brand-
The startup integrates the brand with Mensa and together they embark on the journey of exponential growth by leveraging technology and the team expertise. Here the aim of the startup is to accelerate the brand by 10x and more.
The startup adds value through –
2. Optimized Operations
3. Channel Expansion
4. Data-Driven marketing
5. Digital brand building
6. Go Global
The startup uses technology to make better decisions, grow brands, and enhance the customer experience.
About the founder of the newly turned unicorn startup
The startup was founded by Ananth Narayanan. Most recently, he was the co-founder and the CEO of Medlife, which later he successfully merged into Pharmeasy to create the largest e-health company in India.
Before this, he was also the CEO of Myntra, which is the largest platform for fashion and lifestyle products in India.
He is a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, post which he did Master of Engineering from the University of Michigan.
He was also a senior partner to the Mckinsey and Company for 15 years and has worked across offices in Chicago, Shanghai, Chennai, and Taipei.
He is a part of Champions of Change, Transformative Conclave set up by Niti Aayog. He is also on the Board of Arghyam and is an active member of the Aspen Global Leadership and is also on the Industry Advisory Board of the University of Michigan.
About Alpha Wave Ventures (Falcon Edge Capital)
It is a global, diversified, alternative, asset manager which was founded in the year 2012. It has its offices in New York, Miami, London, Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore.
It was founded and is led by Rick Gerson, Navroz Udwadia, and Ryan Khoury, and is supported by a team of experienced investment professionals with diverse and differentiated expertise across sectors, industries, and geographies.
The venture fund has missions based on the types of the market.
In the public market, it is on the mission to create uncorrelated return streams focused on special situations. It aims to be different and uncorrelated.
In the private market, it is on the mission to invest in the best-in-class venture, and growth-stage companies, and endeavor to be helpful, long-term partners to the founders.
About Prosus Ventures (Naspers)
It is a global consumer internet group and is one of the largest technology investors in the world.
It is operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.
The strategy followed by the investor is that it believes in the power of local backed by global scale and it looks for opportunities to address big societal needs in markets where they see the greatest growth potential.
The startup is bringing a change in the market and is doing great. We wish the startup a piece of good luck and a bright and successful future ahead.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma