Update: An official spokesperson of Mahindra Partners has confirmed this deal to Medianama, though they declined to reveal the specifics of the deal at the moment.
Earlier: Baby products focused e-commerce venture Babyoye.com has been acquired by the Mahindra Group. Though the company hasn’t made an official announcement yet, a tweet from chairman & managing director of the Mahindra Group Anand Mahindra indicates that the deal has been completed. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) February 2, 2015
In December last year, it was first reported that Mahindra Partners the emerging businesses arm of the Mahindra Group was in talks with Nest Childcare Services Pvt Ltd (which operates Babyoye) to acquire the company. The report mentioned that Mahindra Partners would be acquiring Babyoye through its retail arm Mahindra Retail. The Babyoye website currently informs that the site is owned and operated by Mahindra Internet Commerce Pvt Ltd.
Mahindra Retail also operates the Mom&Me chain of stores that sells children and maternity products. The first Mom&Me store was opened in 2009, and currently operates over 100 stores across 45 cities in India. In December 2011 it launched an online store as well, momandmeshop.in. It also manufactures children and maternity products under its private labels. The acquisition of Babyoye is likely to help Mahindra Retail increase online sales.
Last year in July, Mahindra Retail CEO K Venkataraman had told Livemint that the company was looking to grow its online presence by tying up with online retailers and marketplaces like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. It now seems to have adopted a different approach.
Founded in 2010 by Sanjay Nadkarni and Arunima Singhdeo, Babyoye had acquired rival baby care products e-tailer Hoopos in April 2013 and merged the site with Babyoye.com. The merged entities then raised $12 million in funding from Helion Venture Partners, Accel Partners and Tiger Global. Previously, Bollywood actress Karishma Kapoor had invested an undisclosed amount in the company, in December 2011 and in April of the same year Babyoye had raised $2.5 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global. Babyoye’s parent company had also launched a kids products online store called Kidoye in June 2012, but currently the site redirects to Babyoye.
Babyoye financials: For the financial year ended March 31, 2014 (FY14), Nest Childcare Services Pvt Ltd (which operates Babyoye.com) had reported operational revenues of Rs 29.8 crore, as compared to Rs 18.01 crore in FY13. The company reported a net loss of Rs 15.14 crore for FY14, as compared to Rs 10.53 crore in the previous fiscal year.
Consolidation in the online baby care products retailing space
– In May last year, baby products focused flash sales site Hopscotch had acquired Mumbai-based online school & educational supplies store SkoolShop for an undisclosed amount. At the time, Hopscotch co-founder Rahul Anand had told The Economic Times that the acquisition will allow them to expand its customer base and also provide them with a larger vendor base.
– Lapis Marketing had shut down its baby products focused e-commerce venture Hushbabies.com in October 2013 to focus on its other venture BabyBox.in, which the company had acquired from Snapdeal parent Jasper.