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BENGALURU : Former Myntra and Medlife chief’s Tharasio-like venture Mensa Brands is off to a quick start as competition in the space heats up. Mensa Brands, which partners with digital brands and scales them exponentially, was launched in May. It has acquired close to 10 small brands and looks to end up with 50 in two to three years.

The company is also expected to be in talks with new investors for fresh funds after raising close to $88 million from Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, and others. In an interview with Mint, Mensa Brands’ founder Ananth Narayanan spoke about the investment strategy behind buying these brands. Edited excerpts:

What is the approach that you are taking while investing in these brands?

At Mensa, we look for three things. First is the customer love, which we measure through user reviews, repeat and retention rates, while also testing the product quality ourselves. Second, is the founder quality. We look for founders who have either built consumer brands before or have the hunger to make their brands household names. Third is our joint belief to scale these brands almost tenfold.

We invest for a controlling (more than 51%) stake in these brands, which have garnered revenues between $1 million and $10 million. We continue to acquire only those brands that are profitable or at least those that are earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) positive.

How many brands does Mensa look to acquire over the coming year?

Since launch, we have been acquiring almost two brands per month and the goal is to acquire close to 50 brands over two to three years. So we are ahead of our initial plan. We are currently investing in these brands at almost five to six times their Ebitda positivity.

Initially, there was also a focus on taking these brands global. What are you planning?

After coming to the fold (under Mensa brands), we have taken almost three of our 10 brands global. We are also actively exploring partnerships with global e-commerce players to retail these brands. However, it is too soon to speak about these partnerships. We are focused on building global brands from India.

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