firstcry

Baby products platform FirstCry.com has acquired Mahindra-backed BabyOye in a Rs 362.1 crore (~$54 million) cash and equity deal, reports Bloomberg. Interestingly, FirstCry also raised $34 million from the Mahindra Group, Adveq, and Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, ensuring Mahindra retains a presence in the online baby products market.

The combined entity will be rebranded to FirstCry.com – A FirstCry Mahindra Venture and will have over 300 offline stores – 180 from FirstCry and 120 from BabyOye, other than the website and mobile apps. This will essentially allow FirstCry a wider retail presence and access to Mahindra’s private label brands for baby products. According the FirstCry, the deal will also let it scale and achieve profitability much faster.

Mahindra itself had acquired BabyOye through its Retail arm in February last year, and had subsequently merged it with the Mom&Me chain of stores that it operated. Mahindra has been in the online baby products venture for a while now – it had launched an online store for Mom&Me back in 2011.

Consolidation in online baby products space: Competitor Hoopos was acquired by BabyOye back in 2013, while Mom&Me merged with BabyOye after the acquisition by Mahindra. The merger of FirstCry, which has by now raised over $120 million, and BabyOye, leaves only Hopscotch as a major player in the online baby products market. Hopscotch has overall raised funding close to $13 million, a distant second to FirstCry. Others, like Lapis Marketing shut down their baby products ecommerce ventures to sell on third-party platforms. Some major ecommerce stores like Amazon, Snapdeal etc., also compete in this sector, but do not offer value additions like FirstCry’s ‘Gift boxes’ for new mothers in partnership with various hospitals and maternity homes.