Marching forward with the mission of strengthening India’s D2C ecosystem, YourStory launches the first ‘100 Challenger Brands’

The first batch of 100 brands in the ‘500 Challenger Brands’ initiatives includes brands from across sectors such as beauty and personal care, baby care, art and culture, electronics and appliances, fashion and accessories, food and beverages, health, wellness and fitness, furniture and home decor

Marching forward with the mission of strengthening India’s D2C ecosystem, YourStory launches the first ‘100 Challenger Brands’

Friday December 24, 2021,

3 min Read

Launched with an aim to discover, showcase, and amplify high-potential emerging D2C brands, YourStory’s ‘500 Challenger Brands’ initiative released its first batch of 100 brands in a virtual launch event.

Some of the brands that have been selected include Sleepy Owl Coffee, Open Secret, Juicy Chemistry, Belora Cosmetics, Anveshan, Bare Necessities, SleepyCat, Dice Toy Labs, Flatheads, Flexnest, and many more. These 100 brands have been selected via an extensive search across the top D2C brands in the country and after careful consideration of more than 1,000 applications received by the company.

You can see the entire list and learn more about the first 100 brands here.

‘500 Challenger Brands’ is a part of YourStory’s ‘Brands of New India’ property. Through various initiatives, the property aims to help India create a line-up of 500-strong D2C brands over the next three years, and also enable the existing D2C brands to grow their collective revenue base from the current $10 million to $100 million.

Brands of New India

The first 100 brands were unveiled through a report launched by Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO, YourStory. “Under our initiative, we are embarking on a journey of discovering the most promising, emerging D2C brands and startups, and we are giving them a platform to tell their stories not only to their customers but also to investors, policymakers, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem… and this report is a catalogue of their hard work and resilience,” said Shradha while launching the report.

The event also saw participation from many industry leaders such as Abhiroop Medhekar, Co-founder and CEO, Velocity; Dipanjan Basu, Partner and CFO, Fireside Ventures; Nishant Verman, Co-founder and CEO, Bzaar; and Akshay Ghulati, Co-founder - Strategy and Global, Shiprocket.


Akshay Ghulati, Co-founder - Strategy and Global, Shiprocket

“Indian brands will build valuable global franchises in the coming years and in the last five years, the availability of data and change in consumer behaviour was fuelled by enablers like Shiprocket … entrepreneurs in the D2C space are now focussing on how to build the best possible product,” said Akshay while speaking about the future trends that will shape up the D2C space in India.


Dipanjan, Nishant, and Akshay shared some valuable insights in an insightful panel discussion on ‘Where the Indian D2C ecosystem stands against its foreign counterparts?’ Talking about the difference between Indian and western D2C markets, Dipanjan said, “The price point, value consciousness, geography, and other factors play an important role in the Indian market.”

“When you build for India, you actually build for the world,” added Nishant.

“The e-commerce trend is believed to continue for a long time and now is the time to double down on growth,” said Abhiroop while delivering a masterclass on ‘Working capital financing for D2C brands’.


Road ahead

The recognised brands under ‘500 Challenger Brands’ will get due amplification on various YourStory properties, in addition to the access to the company’s network of investors, enablers, mentors, and other key stakeholders.

The announcement of the remaining 400 brands will take place in batches of 100 over the course of next 10 months. Additionally, jury-selected challenger brands from among the ‘500 Challenger Brands’ will get nominated to 'The Brand Accelerator' -- another initiative under Brands of New India -- to be supported by YourStory's stakeholders’ network for mentoring and hand-holding them to scale.

Download the 500 Challenger Brands Report from here to know more about the D2C industry overview, elements that are fuelling India’s D2C disruption, and 100 brands that are in the spotlight!

You can also know more and connect with the brands here.