Mumbai: Brothers Amit Patni and Arihant Patni said on Monday that they had purchased a significant stake in Mumbai-based Bombay Shirt Co. (BSC), India’s first online custom shirt brand, for an undisclosed amount.
BSC sells made-to-measure shirts online and is now looking at expanding to brick-and-mortar, or physical, retail.
The transaction is the latest investment by the family office of the sons of Gajendra Patni who, since their departure from Patni Computer Systems Ltd in 2011, have been known to back young entrepreneurs.
In the past, the family office fund has made seed investments in an online education portal, an online lingerie portal and a quick-service restaurant chain as well.
“We are looking at consumption-based investments across retail, healthcare, apparel, quick-service restaurants and in both online and offline ventures as consumption will take off in India,” said Amit Patni.
BSC is opening its first flagship store in South Mumbai later this year and has already got three pop-up kiosks and five travelling stylists who visit people’s homes to take measurements. “We will look at expanding through all these various models and online as well,” said Akshay Narvekar, co-founder, BSC.
Both the Patni brothers have been active members of the Mumbai Angels, Indian Angels, VentureNursery and Indus Entrepreneurs networks, promoting entrepreneurship through proprietary investments.
They also control Nirvana Venture Advisors, a $40.5 million fund (around Rs.240 crore) that has closed five investments so far, including online gaming business Games2win; Remedinet, which offers technology for management of community and government insurance schemes in healthcare, and TranServ, a platform that allows banks to outsource prepaid card services.
Last month, the brothers raised about $40 million to invest solely in companies that provide Big Data analytics.
India’s fledgling e-commerce market, excluding travel services and tickets, is already worth $3.1 billion, or 10% of the organized retail market. It is estimated to grow to $22 billion, or over 15% of the organized retail market, in five years, according to a November 2013 report by CLSA.