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Business News/ Companies / News/  Steadview in race to invest $100 million in BlueStone
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Steadview in race to invest $100 million in BlueStone

India-focused Steadview is competing with Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd, which is already conducting due diligence BlueStone

Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, founder and chief executive, Bluestone Jewellery and LifestylePremium
Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, founder and chief executive, Bluestone Jewellery and Lifestyle

MUMBAI : Global hedge fund Steadview Capital Management Llc has joined the race to buy a significant minority stake in Ratan Tata-backed Indian jeweller BlueStone Jewellery and Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd for $100 million, three people aware of the matter said.

India-focused Steadview is competing with Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd, which is already conducting due diligence BlueStone, the people said on the condition of anonymity.

“The deal values the company at 4,000 crore ($500 million), and the stake on offer is 20%, which would be a mix of primary and secondary shares," one of the three people said.

In March 2022, the Bengaluru-based jeweller raised $30 million at a valuation of $400 million to finance the opening of brick-and-mortar stores, expanding from its previous online-only model. Currently, 75-80% of its business is generated online.

Some of BlueStone’s existing investors will sell some of their shares during the round, the second person added. Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Saama Capital India Advisors Llp, Iron Pillar, Dragoneer Investment Group Llc, IvyCap Ventures Advisors Pvt. Ltd, and Sunil Kant Munjal have also invested in the company.

“The primary funding will help the company further expand its network of stores," the third person said.

In an interview in 2022, Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, the founder and chief executive of BlueStone, said the company wants to expand its store network to 300 by 2024. Currently, it has around 150 stores.

Emailed queries to a spokesperson for Steadview and phone calls and messages to Kushwaha remained unanswered, while a Temasek spokesperson declined to comment.

BlueStone planned to go for an initial public offering in the year ended 31 March 2023 but deferred it as the market was muted, the third person added.

Founded in 2011, BlueStone sells jewellery in more than 8,000 designs. It competes with the likes of Giva, CaratLane, and Tanishq. Apart from Karnataka, it has plants in Mumbai, Jaipur, and other cities. In the interview, Kushwaha said BlueStone aims to clock revenue of 500 crore in FY23 and 2,000 crore by the end of FY25.

According to a 2022 World Gold Council report, though online sales are picking up in India, with the average online grammage of purchase being pegged at around 10gm, 37% of the country’s jewellery market remains unorganized and is led by local retailers. Online jewellery is expected to account for 5-7% of the overall sales in the next five years. The report—Jewellery Market Structure—expects the top 4-5 companies in the country to expand aggressively by opening more than 1,000 outlets in the next five years.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sneha Shah
Sneha writes on new economy businesses, private and public marker funding and deals. She writes about startups and the new economy, specifically PE/VC and investment banking.
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Published: 23 Jun 2023, 12:16 AM IST
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