Mumbai-based pop culture merchandise startup, The Souled Store has raised $3 million in a fresh funding round led by RP-SG Ventures, a Sebi registered venture capital fund backed by the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, said a senior executive of the fund.
Bengaluru, 28 Nov, 2018. Rednewswire/-
The funds raised will be used to expand its manufacturing and back-end capabilities, introduce a variety of new product lines and build its offline presence.
The Souled Store was founded by three youngsters Vedang Patel, Rohin Samtaney and Aditya Sharma in 2013. The startup provides an online platform offering a wide range of merchandise with curated designs.
Some of its partners include global entities such as Warner Bros, Disney, WWE and Indian brands such as youth icons—stand-up comedians, indie music artists, music festivals and franchises from the Indian Premier League and Pro Kabaddi League.
Vedang Patel, Co-Founder of The Souled Store, said, “Over the last couple of years, we’ve grown at 2-3 times each year and the focus going forward will be to rapidly expand our manufacturing and backend capabilities, introduce a variety of new product lines, enhance our customer experience, and building our offline presence.”
RP-SG Ventures is a $50 million venture capital fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). It is focussed on investing in early-stage consumer businesses across their Series A and B rounds, with ticket sizes ranging from $500,000-3 million.
“We are very impressed with the team’s vision and execution maturity. The growth demonstrated by the brand through exceptional customer engagement on the back of strong unitary economics is outstanding, making it well positioned to become the number one player in this fast growing pop culture segment,” said Abhishek Goenka, head of RP-SG Ventures.
“The Souled Store is a one-stop shop for fan merchandise. They do multiple products such as T-shirts, shorts, badges, phone covers, etc. You don’t have to keep wandering different parts of the net, you can go to this one platform and find the character that you are looking. They work with 100 plus characters,” Goenka added.
It started operations with a Rs 100 crore commitment from the group and will now look to raise capital from external investors. “We are a Rs 300 crore fund. Half of that will be committed by the group. They have made an initial commitment of Rs 100 crore. We have been receiving several inbound queries. We will raise external capital next year,” Goenka said.
With the fan merchandise market in India worth around ₹6,000 crore and growing at 25-30% each year. The Souled Store is well positioned to dominate the merchandise market in the pop culture segment.
“We will invest in 15-20 companies. We have already done two and there are couple of others that we hope we will close by this fiscal end. Our differentiator is that we have access to the distribution network of the sponsor group and we can help these brands access this network and gain visibility, grow at a faster rate,” said Goenka.
Last year in July, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group had bought a controlling stake of 70% in packaged foods company Apricot Foods Pvt. Ltd for Rs440 crore.