Many Indian businesses suffered during the pandemic and the lockdown period. But some of the businesses have received quite a lot of funding and have been able to do the best they could. Such businesses have entered the famous Unicorn club. Many Indian startups during the COVID 19 times have entered the unicorn club, which means their value has increased to over USD 1 billion. But there have been many businesses and startups which failed and had to shut down because of lack of funds as no operations were being held because of the lockdown.
One of the major learnings from the COVID 19 is that now in the current scenario, businesses that are able to conduct their operations online will be able to function and move ahead. It is very difficult for businesses with no online presence to move ahead. Businesses and new startups coming up need to plan out in such a way that they are able to function in the post covid world when many things will change when customer behavior is expected to change.
Of the many Indian startups entering the Unicorn club in these unpredictable times, another new member of the club is Firstcry. The startup as announced in February 2020, raised USD 296 million (INR 2120 Cr) from Japan-based Softbank’s Vision Fund. This round of funding was the Series E round of funding. This round of funding increased the value of the company to USD 1.2 billion.
The other rounds of funding for the company were as follows-
April 2011- Series A round where it raised USD 4 million
January 2014- Series B round where it raised USD 29 million
October 2016- Series C round where it raised USD 96 million
February 2020- Series E round where it raised USD 296 million
The other investors of the company were IDG Ventures India, SAIF, Valiant Capital, Ratan Tata, Vertex Ventures, and NEA. The company in 2016 acquired BbayOye’s franchise business from Mahindra for USD 54 million.
About the company
In 2010, Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha founded Firstcry. With its headquarters in Pune, the company is engaged in offering various categories of kids and baby products ranging from school essentials to clothing. It calls itself India’s largest community for parents where around 13 million parents engage on the platform every month and there is a total of around 92 million monthly engagement on the platform. The startup claims to provide options from 200K baby and kids products from across 2000 brands.
The milestones of the startup are as follows –
2010- Started Operations in September
2011- Started delivering 500 orders per day
2012- Opened the first 80000 Sq ft Automated Fulfilment Center
2013-Crossed 1 million happy customers and started Firstcry Hospital gift Box program
2014-Launched wide range of products assortments from Babyhug
2015- Amitabh Bachchan signed as the Brand Ambassador
2016- Acquired BabyOye retail brand from Mahindra, launched Carters exclusively in India
2017- Firstcry Parenting got launched which is India’s biggest parenting platform
2018- SoftBank invested USD 400 million as funding
2019- Firstcry successfully launched in the UAE
The company has a large user base of over 4 million and a retail footprint of over 3000 stores across 125 cities.
The startup in FY 2019 had a revenue of INR 535 Cr and said that it expected to have INR 2033 Cr in FY 2020. But it earned INR 897 Cr which was a 68% increase in its revenue. The company reduced its expenses by 26% from INR 1468 Cr in 2019 to INR 1088 Cr in 2020. This caused an 83% reduction in net losses from INR 933 Cr in 2019 to INR 191 Cr in 2020.
The startup aims to go public in the coming years and can be a case study of success and careful planning for upcoming startups.