Lightbox, new investor put fresh money into jewellery e-tailer Melorra
Online jewellery retailer Melorra has raised fresh funding from existing investor Lightbox Ventures India and a new investor, two people familiar with the development told VCCircle.
Lightbox put $4 million (Rs 25 crore) in Melorra in May, the people said on the condition of anonymity.
“The investment was made through two vehicles--Lightbox Ventures II and Lightbox Expansion Fund,” one of the persons said.
The recent funding followed an investment of $3 million made by Lightbox in Melorra last year, the person said. Lightbox had first invested $5 million in Melorra in early 2016.
Besides Lightbox, Mumbai-based BlackSoil Capital Pvt. Ltd has provided venture debt to Melorra, the second person said without providing financial details.
Saroja Yeramilli, founder of Melorra, which is operated by August Jewellery Pvt. Ltd, confirmed the additional funding from Lightbox and Blacksoil.
"Melorra is experiencing strong growth momentum and the funding is for us to continue to scale the business rapidly as we have been doing since launching in May 2016," said Yeramilli.
Lightbox confirmed it has put in fresh money into Melorra recently but didn't elaborate. A spokesperson at Lightbox said Melorra has been able to attract consumers while being one of the only companies in the industry to be purely online.
Email queries sent to Blacksoil did not elicit any response till the time of publishing this report.
Sandeep Murthy started venture capital firm Lightbox in 2014 after taking over stakes in six portfolio companies of Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. While the six companies became part of Lightbox Ventures' first fund, the VC firm also raised $100 million for a second fund at the same time. In 2016, it raised an expansion fund of $54 million to invest more in existing portfolio companies.
Lightbox, which also counts Siddharth Talwar, Prashant Mehta and Jeremy Wenokur as partners, typically invests in consumer technology companies.
Apart from Melorra, the VC firm has backed fast-food chain Faasos, online furniture rental startup Furlenco, online automobile marketplace Droom, and test prep startup Embibe. It exited https://www.vccircle.com/reliance-industries-to-acquire-majority-stake-in-vc-backed-embibe/ Embibe when Reliance Industries acquired a majority stake in the startup.
BlackSoil had raised $17 million (Rs 117 crore) from existing investors in a Series C round earlier in July. The Series C round took the total equity fundraise thus far to $25 million. It has also raised $27 million in debt from banks and wealthy individuals till date.
BlackSoil offers debt to real estate companies, promoters of unlisted companies as well as to investor-backed new-economy companies. Loans to the new-economy startups are sanctioned based on their cash flows as these businesses tend to be asset-light in nature.
Deals in online jewellery space
The online jewellery segment has attracted a lot of investor interest over the past few years. Caratlane and Bluestone are the segment leaders. Caratlane had, however, widened the revenue gap with BlueStone in 2016-17.
BlueStone has raised $53 million till date from several investors including Ratan Tata, Accel Partners, India Infoline Finance Ltd and Kalaari Capital.
Titan had acquired a majority stake in Caratlane in July 2016. Prior to that, Caratlane had raised over $52 million from New York-based investment firm Tiger Global.
A number of other jewellery marketplaces have emerged in the past couple of years and some of them have attracted venture capital investments as well.
VivoCarat.com had raised $50,000 in seed funding from a group of individual investors in December 2016. In August that year, Mumbai-based Joolz raised $500,000 in a pre-Series A funding round led by Powerhouse Ventures and M&S Partners.
Also in 2016, online designer jewellery marketplace Velvetcase.com raised close to $2 million in a second round of funding led by Uniqorn Ventures Fund.
Sequoia-backed healthcare firm Glocal raises venture debt
Glocal Healthcare Systems Pvt. Ltd, a Kolkata-based owner of 10 hospitals that had raised its first round of funding from Sequoia Capital and Elevar Advisors in 2011, has raised venture debt, two people in the know told VCCircle.
The company, with hospitals across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha, has raised Rs 7.5 crore ($1.09 million) from Mumbai-based non-banking financial company BlackSoil Capital Pvt. Ltd, the people said.
Venture debt, which rarely involves stake dilution by the promoters, provides companies more time to grow.
Glocal founder and chief executive Sabahat S Azim confirmed the development while BlackSoil did not respond to an email till the time of filing this article.
Azim, a former IAS officer, said the venture debt was raised to roll out more digital dispensaries.
“Digital dispensaries use algorithms for clinical decisions, Internet of Things for remote examination, investigation and telemedicine, and an automated medicine dispenser,” said Azmi.
Glocal had started digital dispensaries with the aim to cater to primary healthcare in the underserved regions of the country.
The company currently has 151 digital dispensaries and is in the process of rolling out about 800 more.
Azmi also said that the company is in the process of raising around $30 million for expanding its 10 hospitals. He did not elaborate on whether the funding would comprise of primary or secondary transactions.
The company, which was founded in 2010, had first raised $3.26 million from Sequoia and Elevar in 2011. It raised another $5.28 million from Samridhi Fund in 2013. Sequoia and Elevar put in about $5 million between 2013 and 2017. All figures are from VCCEdge, the data and research platform of News Corp VCCircle.
Glocal clocked net sales of Rs 13.5 crore for the financial year ended 31 March 2017, down from Rs 14.2 crore for the previous financial year, according to VCCEdge. Its net loss widened to Rs 23.9 crore during the period from Rs 12.7 crore a year before.
BlackSoil offers debt to real estate companies, promoters of unlisted companies as well as investor-backed new-economy companies.
BlackSoil had raised $17 million (Rs 117 crore) from existing investors in a Series C round earlier in July. The Series C round took the total equity fundraising so far to $25 million. It has also raised $27 million in debt from banks and wealthy individuals so far.