[Funding alert] The Souled Store raises Rs 75 Cr led by Elevation Capital
Mumbai-based ecommerce D2C startuphas raised Rs 75 crore in Series B funding led by Elevation Capital.
The round also saw participation from angel investors Sahil Barua, Co-founder and CEO, Delhivery; Gunjan Soni, CEO, Zalora; Ex-CMO, Jabong; Revant Bhate, Co-founder and CEO, Mosaic Wellness; Ramakant Sharma, Founder and COO, Livspace; Ashish Goel, Founder and CEO, Urban Ladder; Rohit Kapoor, CEO, INSEA at OYO; Mukund Kulashekaran, SVP of Business, Urban Company; and Varun Duggirala, Co-founder, The Glitch.
The funding will be used for expanding The Souled Store's product portfolio of both licenced merchandise and casual wear. It said it is looking at building brand awareness and offline retail presence pan India. The company is also looking to expand its manufacturing capabilities, and focus on recruiting activities.
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. That’s what sets us apart, the people behind the scenes love what they do, and that shows in our work. From day 1, our aim has been to create a truly homegrown brand that focuses on three important aspects: great products, unique designs, and outstanding service."
He explained this has also led to the high-repeating cult-like customer base. Vedang said they are excited to be partnering with a highly reputed fund like Elevation Capital that believes in this vision.
"Their vast experience in backing and helping scale some of the biggest startups in India makes them the perfect partner for us. 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," added Vedang.
Founded in 2013 by Vedang, Aditya Sharma, Rohin Samtaney, and Harsh Lal, The Souled Store brings in licenced merchandise and claims to be India’s largest fan merchandise destination with licenses including Disney, Warner Bros, WWE, IPL teams, EPL Teams and Viacom18.
Commenting on the funding, Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital said, “The Souled Store has successfully capitalised 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. This growth is a consequence of the company’s relentless focus on customer experience to drive loyalty & data-driven merchandising to manage inventory and keep operations lean. We are super excited to partner with the team in the journey ahead of building The Souled Store into India’s most loved D2C casual-wear brand.”
What does it do?
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.
The startup 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.
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. Glad to welcome Elevation Capital in this journey to build the most admired youth lifestyle brand in India.”
The Souled Store mainly offers affordable fan merchandise apparel to the internet-savvy and pro-online millennial and Gen-Z consumers. The company has a large and a near-cult “fan” base with 836K followers on Instagram and about 2 lakh daily visitors on the website and app.
The company stated it has actively diversified their product mix from just fan merchandise and basic brand T-shirts to include other apparel (for both men and women), such as athleisure, casual dresses, sweatshirts, and lounge wear. Through their mass premium appeal, product innovations and loyalty programs, they have successfully generated sustainable growth and revenue (especially through repeat customers even amid the pandemic).
The Souled Store said it has over three million registered users and is on track to do a Rs 500 crore GMV next year.
Edited by Megha Reddy