10club, a six-month-old Indian business launching a Thrasio-like venture, announced on Tuesday that it had raised $40 million in one of the region’s largest early financing rounds.
The round was headed by Fireside Ventures (a well-known Indian consumer and hardware tech investor) and an undisclosed worldwide investor, according to the Indian startup, which did not name the other firm. The round was also attended by HeyDay, PDS International, Class 5 Global, Secocha Ventures, and the founders of hardware company boAt (Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta). It’s unclear whether the deal would contain loans — as is common with Thrasio-style ventures — or if the entire funding will be wired in one go.
10club buys small businesses that sell their wares on e-commerce platforms and helps them grow.
“E-commerce behemoths like Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, and others are propelling great enterprises forward. They do their foundational years right but struggle to scale, and they recognize that competition is difficult to overcome. That’s where we come in, allowing you — the entrepreneurs — to profit from your years of hard work,” the company says on its LinkedIn page.
In India, 10club is one of a few dozen companies attempting to duplicate what is known as the Thrasio-model. Mensa Brands, a similar startup led by the former chief executive of fashion e-commerce Myntra, recently received $50 million in stock and debt. UpScale, another significant competitor in this market, is in early talks with Germany’s Razor Group to seek funding, according to TechCrunch.
Several of these companies, like Thrasio, are attempting to buy brands that sell midrange to high-end products in markets with little competition. In fact, some of these businesses’ common categories are so underestimated that Amazon and other e-commerce companies have yet to explore them through their private label ecosystems.
As of late this year, Thrasio, based in New York, has acquired or otherwise consolidated around 6,000 third-party merchants on Amazon, having raised over $1.3 billion in equity and debt since December last year.
“India and online-first firms are at the cusp of the next revolution. Both VC and acquisition-driven models, we believe, will coexist in the future and potentially accelerate the growth of early-stage brands. We will be able to accelerate this transition and help e-commerce entrepreneurs to reach the full potential of their businesses together with the team at 10Club,” said Vinay Singh, partner at Fireside Ventures, in a statement. Singh will also join the board of directors of 10club as part of the acquisition.
Bhavna Suresh, the co-founder of 10club and former CEO of real-estate marketplace Lamudi, said the company has already built the foundational pillars of the centralized platform and has signed letters of intent worth $15 million from a number of companies, and will use the new capital to operate the new businesses.
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