Celebrity fashion company Universal Sportsbiz (USPL), which is backed by Sachin Tendulkar, has raised Series E funding of $13.5 million led by Accel Partners. Debt Capital firm Alteria Capital made its second equity deal, by pumping $1 million into this round. Post this fund raise the company’s valuation is pegged at $160 million, up from $100 million last November.
Alteria Capital had made a $4.6 million debt funding in USPL in May this year. Speaking to YourStory, Anjana Reddy, founder and CEO of USPL said,
“In the past three years, we have focussed on building a brand and ensuring that there is a presence in both online and offline channels. With this fund raise, we want to focus on growth for our brand and bring in 1,000 points of sales in two years. We strongly believe that each of USPL’s brands has the potential to emerge as a multi-million dollar global brand, and with this investment, there is no looking back.”
The company will also look at expanding its portfolio of brands and investing in technology to optimise the business. “When others were focussed on an online or offline model, we realised three years back itself that the edge would come with an overall omnichannel focus,” Anjana added.
USPL brands are currently retailed at over 200 points of sale with a geographical spread across 34 cities nationally. On the investment, Mahendran Balachandran, Partner at Accel Partners India, said in a press statement,
“In the competitive world of retail fashion, Anjana and her team have successfully built brands. The company has added tremendous value through its differentiated brands and as it moves forward to accelerate growth, we are excited to strengthen our partnership with them.”
USPL has all the right ingredients to launch multiple brands and it will focus on reaching consumers in smaller cities.
Virat Kohli, Indian cricketer and inspiration for USPL’s breakaway youth fashion brand WROGN, stated, “It’s a great feeling when a brand that resonates with oneself gets appreciation not just from customers, but also from its investors who have backed the brand since its creation. I am sure that Wrogn will continue to grow and gain popularity with today’s fashion conscious youth.”
If one looks at all retail businesses, they work on high volumes and low margins. The average break-even period for a brand is five years. Speaking to YourStory, Vinod Murali, Cofounder and Managing Partner, Alteria Capital said,
"Anjana and her team have been extremely creative and diligent in building strong brands like Wrogn and Imara, which has resulted in a strong consumer brand platform. The company has a deep understanding of the Indian consumer's needs and collaborates well with celebrities to accelerate growth. We are very excited to contribute further to this fantastic journey."