[Funding alert] UpScalio raises $15M led by Gulf Islamic Investments

The announcement comes months after UpScalio raised $42.5 million in a Series A round led by Presight Capital
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Gurugram-headquartered ecommerce roll-up company UpScalio has announced raising $15 million in a pre-Series B round in a mix of debt and equity, led by UAE-based Gulf Islamic Investments (GII). Lenders including Northern Arc and Unity Bank also participated in the round, said a statement issued by UpScalio.

This is GII’s sixth investment in India after backing companies like 1-India Family Mart and Bombay Shaving Company. GII with an AUM of nearly $3 billion globally had announced in 2021 that it will be investing $500 million across consumer brands, consumer technology and healthcare sectors in the Indian market. 

This round of funding follows UpScalio’s Series A round of $42.5 million in August 2021, which was led by Presight Capital. The current round was concluded at a higher valuation, confirmed the company without divulging the numbers.

“GII team’s global experience in ‘buy and build’ across industries will be immensely helpful as we aggregate and scale ecommerce brands. We will utilise this fundraise to partner with more brands, to invest in hiring across key growth functions, and to build out other technology and growth capabilities,” said Gautam Kshatriya, Co-founder and CEO of UpScalio in a statement.

UpScalio was founded in April 2021 by former McKinsey and Company consultant Gautam Kshatriya, former Bain and Company consultant Saaim Khan, and former executive at beauty retailer Purplle, Nitin Agarwal. 

Similar to other ecommerce roll-up companies, UpScalio acquires majority stakes in high growth online-first brands and helps them scale their business by 5-10X over a period of two to three years, giving the founders an exit. 

UpScalio currently has a portfolio of 13 brands across utility categories including home and kitchen, furniture, auto accessories, lawn and gardening, among others. The company claims current annualised GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) of Rs 300 crore from its portfolio.

GMV is the metric used to denote total sales by an ecommerce entity over a fixed period of time.

“UpScalio’s core focus on operating brands in all-weather utility categories is differentiated from similar modelled businesses in India and globally. We have been thoroughly impressed with the UpScalio team’s ability to integrate companies and create value across digital marketing, product development, pricing, supply chain and deep analytics,” said Pankaj Gupta and Mohammed Alhassan, Co-founders and Co-CEOs of GII in the statement.

The space has seen intense competition last year backed by strong investor interest. Fashion and lifestyle focused Mensa Brands turned a startup unicorn with a valuation over $1 billion in 2021 in less than six months of inception. GlobalBees too joined the unicorn club in December 2021 with funding from Premji Invest and others. 

Edited by Anju Narayanan

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