Micro VC firm First Cheque partially exits jewellery startup Giva with bumper returns

First Cheque’s exit from Giva has generated an IRR of 194% for the micro VC firm, indicating the massive potential in the millennial jewellery space.

Micro VC firm First Cheque partially exits jewellery startup Giva with bumper returns

Monday September 11, 2023,

3 min Read

Early-stage venture capital firm First Cheque has taken a partial exit from direct-to-consumer (D2C) jewellery brand GIVA Jewellery with a return of 75X, Prateek Agarwal, Investment Lead at the VC firm, told YourStory.

The Bengaluru-based micro VC firm, which holds investment in 125 startups including Fashinza, WintWealth, Bellatrix Aerospace and Leap Club, invested an undisclosed amount in Giva in 2019, making it one of the earliest institutional investors to back the jewellery brand.

The exit has returned 75X of the initial investment amount with an IRR of 194%, Agarwal said, without disclosing details on the principal or return. First Cheque’s stake in Giva could not be ascertained.

“Giva is one of the first companies in our portfolio to deliver close to 100X returns and stands to show the potential of returns that early-stage investors could generate. The business has grown substantially over the last few years and their current round is a testament to that performance. We strongly believe that our current leftover stake in Giva itself will help us return 1X of the fund,” he said.

The development comes a few weeks after Titan purchased the remaining 27.18% stake in CaratLane for Rs 4,621 crore, offering Caratlane founder Mithun Sacheti the second largest founder-exit since Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal’s exit from the ecommerce firm.

The bumper exit signals a positive sentiment towards the new-age jewellery market, with venture capital investors keeping a close eye on the burgeoning segment powered by an increase in discretionary spending and a modern outlook on jewellery. Giva competes with CaratLane, Accel-backed Bluestone, and Symphony Asia Holdings-backed Melorra among others.

First Cheque’s exit is part of Giva’s Rs 200 crore Series B fundraise led by Premji Invest which was announced in July. Existing investors including Aditya Birla Ventures, Alteria Capital, A91 Partners also participated in the round. India Quotient and Sixth Sense Ventures previously invested in the Bengaluru-based jewellery firm making them early backers.

Founded in 2019 by Ishendra Agarwal, Nikita Prasad and Sachin Shetty, Giva specialises in silver jewellery which is curated by designers around the world. It has an offline presence in more than 50 stores in India and is looking to double down on its omnichannel play. It also aims to capitalise on “the improved levels of consumer spending by improving its distribution network” and making its products accessible to a wider audience, it said during the fundraise announcement in July.

It has raised upwards of $50 million in funding to date and hit revenue of Rs 100 crore in FY22, according to the company.

Meanwhile, this is First Cheque's first significant exit in its portfolio of startups. The sector-agnostic firm has made over 130 investments in the past four years since inception.

It launched Fund II last year with a corpus of about Rs 38 crore (~$5 million) from global investors. So far, investments have been made in over 30 startups across sectors, including B2B marketplaces, consumer internet, fintech and SaaS.

CapGrid, one of their portfolio companies, recently closed a $7 million round led by Nexus Venture Partners.

The firm has plans to invest in 18-20 companies across sectors in the next 8-9 months. “We plan to invest $100K as a part of larger rounds ($300K - $800K),” Agarwal added.

(With inputs from Sowmya Ramasubramanian)

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti