Now, Ratan Tata invests in baby products portal FirstCry

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons and now an active venture capitalist, has invested an undisclosed amount in Pune-based Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd, which owns the baby and kids focused e-commerce site 'FirstCry.com' brand.

Ratan Tata, who is also senior advisor to IDG Ventures India, has invested in Brainbees Solutions Pvt Ltd and its associate company Digital Age Retail Pvt Ltd in his personal capacity.

''A positive nod from a business leader of Tata's stature is a great vote of confidence in the way we have created the ecosystem and validation of the business approach leading to definitive path to profitability," said Supam Maheshwari, founder and CEO of FirstCry.

This is Ratan Tata's fourth investment in 2016, who has so far invested in 22 start-ups since he stepped down as chairman of Tata Group in December 2012.

Tata, one of India's most active angel investors, recently made investments in animal lovers' portal Dogspot, start-up analytics firm Tracxn and coupons site CashKaro. He had last year invested in several unconventional concepts, including UrbanClap, CrayonData and Paytm.

Tata, who has invested in about 22 startups since he retired as Tata Group chief in December 2012, is passionate about his new role as a serial investor.

Founded in 2010 by Maheshwari and Amitava Saha, FirstCry operates a hybrid online-offline model for retailing kids' products. It also owns about 100 FirstCry-branded franchisee stores across 85 cities besides its e-commerce site. FirstCry runs its private label under the BabyHug brand.

In addition, Brainbees also has distribution partnerships with over 6,000 hospitals across the country. FirstCry has built a strong and dominant leadership in its category in a highly capital efficient manner, according to the company.

FirstCry is an omni-channel (web, mobile and offline) platform of baby and maternity products in India. Started in late 2010, it has a dominant presence with over 2 million parent clients, over 50 per cent mobile customer base and over 150 FirstCry branded franchisee offline stores across 100 cities in the country.

FirstCry has partnered with 7,000 maternity hospitals across the country and delivers the FirstCry GiftBox to over 1 million new mothers every year. Their own brand, BabyHug, is today the leading baby & kids apparel brand in the country.
 
''Our vision is to simplify parenting by creating the necessary eco-system and we have outgrown our competitors to become the dominant driver in this space across mobile, online and offline channels," Maheshwari added.

Brainbees has raised nearly $70 million in capital over multiple rounds of investments from venture capital firms, including IDG Ventures India, SAIF Partners, Vertex Ventures, Valiant Capital and NEA.