firstcry

BrainBees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which operates the online baby care products retailer FirstCry, has raised $26 million in a fourth round of funding led by the San Francisco based hedge fund Valiant Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors IDG Ventures, Ventex Venture Holdings and SAIF Partners.

Previously, Firstcry had secured $15 million funding in its third round from Vertex Venture Holdings, SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures in January last year, $14 million in its second round from IDG Ventures and SAIF Partners in 2012 and $4 million in 2011 from SAIF Partners.

Speaking to Medianama, the company said it will use the funds for scaling its business across mobile, online and offline channels as well as growing its private label business. The company also mentioned it plans to expand to 200 stores by the end of 2015 and will reach its target of 400 stores by 2017.

Last year, FirstCry had revealed plans of increasing the number of its offline franchise stores to 100 by setting up 30 new stores by end of 2014, a target it claims to have reached. The company had also claimed then that it will set up 400 stores by December 2017.

FirstCry currently offers baby care and kids products like diapers, toys, clothing, bath, skin & healthcare products, footwear, baby furniture, books and others. It claims to have more than 70,000 products from more than 400 Indian and International brands like Mattel, Ben10, Pigeon, Funskool, Hotwheels, Nuby, Farlin, Medela, Pampers, Disney, Barbie, Gerber and Fisher Price and its own private label ‘BabyHug’ among others. In August 2013 the company also launched a subscription service on its portal for products like diapers.

The platform also offers ‘Gift boxes’ in partnership with various hospitals and maternity homes. This gift box contains products like diapers, lotions, baby wipes, etc. and is delivered to a new mother right after she delivers. The company claims that currently it delivers 7500 such boxes every month, and that over 2 lakh FirstCry boxes have already been delivered.

Competition

– Last month, baby & kids products focused flash sales site Hopscotch had raised $11 million investment led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s PE firm Velos Capital Partners with participation from Rise Capital, Jabbar Internet Group and existing investors LionRock Capital and Skype co-founder Tovio Annus. The company, which also raised $2 million in February 2014, acquired the online school and educational supplies store SkoolShop in May 2014.

– In April 2013, BabyOye.com had acquired Bangalore-based Hoopos, and the merged entity raised $12 million in funding from Helion Venture Partners, Accel Partners and Tiger Global.

Image source: FirstCry