Mensa Brands Emerges as India's Fastest Startup to Enter Unicorn Club, Secures $135 mn


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Mensa Brands has raised $135 million as part of its latest Series B funding round led by Falcon Edge Capital’s growth stage platform, Alpha Wave Ventures, at a valuation of about $1.2 billion.

Other existing investors, including Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Tiger Global Management, along with new investor Prosus Ventures, formerly Naspers Ventures, also participated in the round, making Mensa the fastest startup to reach unicorn status in just seven months of inception.

Ananth Narayanan, founder and CEO, Mensa Brands says, “One of the key reasons to raise another round of investment this year is to invest into more brands. There are a lot more inbound deals coming our way now and we look to tap into those opportunities. Close to 80% of this fundraise will go in bringing these brands to Mensa’s fold. The second is to grow and scale our brands both in domestic and international markets, as well as to scale our team.”

A unicorn is a privately held startup with a valuation of $1 billion.

Previously, jobs platform Apna; electric mobility solution provider, Ola Electric; business-to-business marketplace Udaan; InMobi’s lock screen solution, Glance; and Paytm Mall were considered to be among India’s fastest unicorns, achieving a valuation of more than $1 billion in about two years of starting operations.

Mensa Brands now plans to deploy the fresh capital to accelerate growth, and ramp up its acquisitions in the market, while scaling its team across operations, marketing and technology functions. The company has nearly 60 employees at present, and looks to scale it to 150-200 members over the next 12-18 months.

Founded this year, Mensa Brands follows a ‘house of brands’ or brand aggregation strategy where it acquires and partners with digital first brands and looks to accelerate their growth through providing on-ground expertise and tech-led interventions around marketing, and operations.

Mensa currently focuses on fashion, beauty and cosmetics as well as the home furnishing category.

Ashutosh Sharma, head of investments, India, Prosus Ventures “We are excited to support MensaBrands 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."