Mensa Brands Becomes Unicorn With $135M Series B
Mensa is already profitable and intends to use the funding to continue partnering with founding teams of customer-loved brands and help them become household names.
Mensa Brands has announced its Series B fundraise of US$135 million, led by Alpha Wave Ventures | Falcon Edge Capital with participation from all existing investors - Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management. Prosus Ventures (Naspers) also invested in Mensa in this latest funding round. Within 6 months of starting the business, Mensa has raised a total of more than $300 million in equity and debt.
Mensa is already profitable and intends to use the funding to continue partnering with founding teams of customer-loved brands and help them become household names. In addition, it’ll invest in hiring across functions and continue building out its tech platform and other growth capabilities.
Mensa kick-started its journey in May 2021 with a vision to partner and invest in digital-first brands across fashion and apparel, home and garden, beauty and personal care and food and scale them exponentially. Mensa works closely with founding teams to accelerate growth on marketplaces, through the brand's own websites, and global platforms by using a combination of initiatives across product, pricing, marketing, distribution, and brand building with a technology platform at the core. The process of partnering with Mensa from initiation to execution is hyper-efficient, often closing within 4-8 weeks. To date, the company has partnered with 12 brands, majority of which are growing at 100% YoY since their integration with Mensa. One partner brand, Villain, a leading men’s fragrance, and accessories brand grew by +250% in October. Another partner brand, Karagiri, a leading high-end designer sarees brand has grown by +140% in October.
Speaking on the occasion Ananth Narayanan, Founder and CEO of Mensa Brands said, “We are grateful for the confidence from our investors and our brand partners. Our deep focus on technology and digital brand building, as well as our people, has allowed us to grow 3X of our initial plan and we at Mensa Brands are primed to build global breakout brands from India. I am especially proud that more than 50% of our brands are led by women founders and that Mensa supports small- and medium-sized businesses across the country. “
Navroz Udwadia, Co-founder and Partner of Alpha Wave Ventures | Falcon Edge Capital said “We are excited to continue backing Ananth Narayanan as he executes a best-in-class playbook of brand aggregation and acceleration focused on Indian and global e-commerce brands. Mensa demonstrates a tangible uplift through a combination of product and pricing optimization, technology-led process improvement, distribution and marketing augmentation and fine-tuning the supply chain. These levers meaningfully accelerate the growth and margin trajectory of the brands and make them well-poised to become category leaders. We believe Mensa is well on track to cement its reputation as the partner of choice for well-performing e-commerce brands.”
Niren Shah, Managing Director and Head of Norwest Venture Partners India said “Armed with exceptional prior leadership experience in two major businesses, Ananth has been able to build a top-class team and partner with more than 12 companies to embark on a journey of building a tech first global house of brands from India. The speed and quality of execution has been impressive, and we are delighted to continue to back Mensa as it becomes the fastest unicorn in Asia!”
Ashutosh Sharma, Head of Investments, India, Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures) said, “Ananth brings formidable expertise in building market-leading consumer brands at scale. We are excited to support Mensa Brands in their journey to build digital-first global brands from India. Their team brings superior execution focus and technology chops to help emerging brands scale digitally. This is an incredible time for made-in-India businesses, and we look forward to helping to fuel their future success.”
Subrata Mitra, Partner at Accel Partners added, “We're excited to continue our partnership with the superstar team at Mensa led by Ananth on their hyper-growth trajectory: it's a new approach to ecommerce that aligns our ability to identify exceptional entrepreneurs and accelerate their business with Mensa's tech platform & brand building capabilities!”
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