Fashion start-up Universal Sportsbiz raises Rs30 crore from Alteria Capital
Bengaluru: Fashion start-up Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd (USPL) has raised Rs30 crore in a new funding round from Alteria Capital, a Mumbai-based venture debt fund that recently made its first close of Rs356 crore.
USPL was founded in 2012 by Anajan Reddy. It has multiple partnerships with famous sports and movie personalities to co-create apparel brands, which are sold to customers via online and offline channels.
The company will use the fresh funds for working capital needs including for expansion into new markets, and for various marketing activities, according to Vinod Murali, managing partner, Alteria Capital.
USPL’s portfolio brands include names like WROGN, which was created in partnership with Virat Kohli; Imara, a contemporary women’s ethnic brand with Jacqueline Fernandez; and Ms Taken, a women’s western wear brand created in a tie-up with Bollywood actress Kriti Sanon.
USPL’s brands are sold at over 200 retail touch points with a geographical spread across 34 cities nationally. The brands are also sold at big retail chains like Shoppers Stop and on online marketplaces like Myntra, Jabong, and Flipkart among others.
The company also operates exclusive brick and mortar stores in over 10 cities and sells its products on its brand website wrogn.in and imara.in.
In November 2017, USPL had raised Rs100 crore in funding from its existing investor Accel Partners, valuing the company at over $100 million. The fashion start-up has also backed cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.
“Taking venture debt from Alteria was a simple decision given the relationship involved and their understanding of start-ups as well as expertise in debt structuring…High growth companies need access to varied sources of capital and it is great for Indian start-ups to have more access to venture debt,” said Reddy, chief executive officer, USPL.
For Alteria Capital, the current deal represents its second investment after it made its first close in March. In a phone interview, the fund’s managing partner Murali said that the fund will focus on tech companies, healthcare, and consumer brands.
Alteria Capital has a corpus of Rs1,000 crore and has anchor investments from IndusInd Bank and an undisclosed large Indian family office.
“We don’t have any constraint in terms of the number of deals we plan to close this year. However, we will look at investing close to Rs250 to Rs350 crore in this year. Alteria has already deployed roughly Rs38.5 crore till date, so the average (deal) size is around Rs19 to Rs20 crore for us,” added Murali.