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Venture Capital | 5 November 2014

Forum Synergies, Others Invest In Ethnic Fashion Portal CBazaar

by Puja Chaurasiya
Forum Synergies, Others Invest In Ethnic Fashion Portal CBazaar
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Chennai based CBazaar.com, an online Indian ethnic wear store owned by Net Avenue Technologies , has raised R12.75 Cr from Forum Synergies and existing investors, Inventus Capital and Ojas Venture Partners.

The second round of funding values CBazaar at INR1,500 Mn. The funding will be utilized to hire talent, enhance technology and expand into newer locations including US, the UK, Canada, South Africa and the Middle East.

A team of Samvad Partners consisting of Harish Narasappa (Partner) and Juhi Mehta (Senior Associate) advised the existing investors.

Pivoting thrice since its launch in 1998 ChennaiBazaar began as vision to be made into an online mall, however the idea not clicking, it ventured into gifting within a year. Finally the company settled into apprarels and boiled down to the niche segment of ethnic wear, rebranding ChennaiBazaar into CBazaar, a private label in 2005.

Today the company operates sales channels in over 130 countries with a clothing collection including over 20,000 Indian designs and styles.

Founded by Rajesh Nahar and Ritesh Katariya, the bootstrapped company saw its first institutional round when US based Inventus Capital Partners and Ojas Venture Partners pumped in $3.5 Mn in 2012.

The company leverages technology and a host of inhouse designers and tailors to offer its clients with customized clothing. Cbazaar’s inhouse brands include RaiR, Bollywood Vogue, and Modni.

Growing over 100% y-o-y, the company expects to touch revenues of INR600 Mn this fiscal.

Retail consultancy firm Wazir Advisors estimates the ethnic wear market to grow at 12% by 2018 to INR5,000 Bn from the current market size of INR2,500 Bn. The women's ethnic wear market is expected to expand by 14% to INR1,750 Bn in 2018.

PE firms have been showing keen interest in the ethnic wear players. Everstone Capital had picked up a minority stake in fashion label Ritu Kumar for a billion rupees. Previously General Atlantic had backed minority stake in AND Designs India; Warburg Pincus and Faering Capital had put in INR3 Bn in Biba Apparels.

Also, Future Lifestyle Fashion had acquired 27.5% stake in women's apparel brand Desi Belle.

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