Mumbai-based youth casual wear brand, The Souled Store, has raised Rs 75 crore in Series B funding led by Elevation Capital.
The investment round also saw participation from angel investors Sahil Barua (Co-Founder & CEO, Delhivery), Gunjan Soni (CEO, Zalora; Ex-CMO, Jabong), Revant Bhate (Co-Founder & CEO, Mosaic Wellness), Ramakant Sharma (Founder & COO, Livspace), Ashish Goel (Founder & CEO, Urban Ladder), Rohit Kapoor (CEO, INSEA at OYO), Mukund Kulashekaran (SVP of Business, Urban Company), and Varun Duggirala (Co-Founder, The Glitch).
The company will use the capital for expanding their product portfolio on both licensed merchandise and casual wear, building better brand awareness and offline retail presence pan India, expanding their manufacturing capabilities, and focusing on recruiting activities.
Founded in 2013 by Vedang Patel, Aditya Sharma, Rohin Samtaney, and Harsh Lal, The Souled Store was one of the first brands to bring in licensed merchandise and is currently India’s largest fan merchandise destination with licenses including Disney, Warner Bros, WWE, IPL teams, EPL Teams and Viacom18. The company designs, manufactures and retails a wide range of apparel products with designs ranging from pop-culture themes like superheroes (Marvel and DC universes), movies (Star Wars, Harry Potter), TV shows (Friends, Game of Thrones), and cartoons (Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry), and has partnered with 150+ franchisees. The key differentiator of the brand is the unique designs that The Souled Store gives its customers.
Vedang Patel, Co-founder and CEO, The Souled Store said, “The Souled Store was started with the idea of doing what you love, from the soul. We are super excited to be partnering with a highly reputed fund like Elevation Capital that believes in this vision. The focus going forward will be to introduce a variety of new product categories, enhance our customer reach, and expand our offline presence pan India to fulfil our aim of crossing Rs 1,000 crore GMV by 2025."
The company was bootstrapped for the first five years and received seed funding from RP-SG Ventures in November 2018. Since then, the company has grown over 4X by focusing on data, customer insights and feedback, and keeping customer satisfaction above all else.
In 2020, the rapidly growing Indian e-commerce industry was estimated to be around $38-40 billion, with apparel as the second largest category (around 25 percent valued at $6-6.5 billion). Western wear is a natural fit for the online channel due to its standard sizing and lesser need for touch and feel (as compared to ethnic and formal wear segments). Given this, The Souled Store has the potential to scale to Rs 1,000 crore in revenue by 2025, it said.
Commenting on the funding, Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital said, “The Souled Store's has successfully capitalized on India’s pop culture—which has led to its unique positioning. We were thoroughly impressed by the kind of scale that the company has built in a capital efficient manner.”
Abhishek Goenka from RPSG Ventures said, “The Souled Store’s tremendous growth since inception (and through COVID) is symbolic of the sheer customer love and execution excellence of the founding team. We are very bullish on the milestones they plan to achieve in the coming years.”
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