Excl: Myntra raised more funds last year valuing it at $200M; rumours point at possible merger with Flipkart

myntra-logoBangalore-based Myntra Designs Pvt Ltd, which runs fashion apparel and accessories e-com site Myntra and is in the market to raise fresh round of funding, had raised more money from existing investors last year, sources told The deal, which was not made public, valued Myntra at just under $200 million back then.

This marked a jump from valuation of $128 million, when it raised $25 million from existing investors in what was apparently a Series D round in mid-2012. This investment was also not announced but the firm had publicly disclosed it much later. With the last funding, the firm has raised around $73 million to date.

For more information on the last round of funding click here.

We have contacted the company and the four investors for an official confirmation on the funding but we are yet to hear from them.

Recent media reports suggest Myntra is in talks with Azim Premji's investment firm PremjiInvest and British fund-of-funds CDC to raise around $50 million in a new round.

Myntra is already one of the heavily funded e-commerce companies in India. After getting seed funding in 2007, it raised a little over $5 million in its Series A funding back in 2008 from NEA-IndoUS Ventures, IDG Ventures and Accel Partners. In 2011 it raised $14 million led by Tiger Global in which some of the other existing investors participated.

This was followed by a $20 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global besides $25 million by the same investors in 2012.

In July last year, reported that the e-tailer was looking to raise fresh money.

Rumours of merger with Flipkart

In a separate report, The Times of India quoting unnamed sources said that the common investors of Myntra and horizontal e-commerce major Flipkart are considering a possible merger, even as Myntra founders are not too keen on such a deal. Tiger Global and Accel Partners are the two common investors, who together hold a significant stake in Flipkart and Myntra. According to the news report, a final decision on the possible merger will be taken within two weeks.

Recently, in an interview with VCCircle, Subrata Mitra of Accel Partners said. "(For) Myntra, we have been in market for four months and it (fundraising) was tough work," adding that the investment discussions with Myntra revolve around the company getting profitable.

He counted Myntra as a defensive player in the market as against Flipkart, which he compared to football striker Lionel Messi.

Founded in 2007 by a group of IIT/IIM graduates, Myntra has offices in Bangalore and New Delhi. In April last year, it acquired San Francisco-based virtual fitting room startup Fitiquette for an undisclosed amount. It was Myntra's second acquisition after its acquisition of Inc.—the company behind the private label brand and the fashion site—which it acquired for an undisclosed amount in November 2012.

A possible merger will help Flipkart, which has been looking to scale up its apparel vertical, a business with high margins. It had started selling apparel around a year ago and in an exclusive interview Flipkart co-founder and chief Sachin Bansal had said that in the apparel category it was targeting to become the number one player by Diwali or October-November 2013. It is not clear if it met the target but it has raised a large chunk of money recently and can absorb a deal to buyout Myntra.

Myntra, if it continues as a standalone property, may get to reach another set of audience by also pushing products through Flipkart's platform. This may help it stay ahead of Rocket Internet-backed Jabong which had scaled up aggressively in the same space as Myntra. However, over time, Flipkart would cannibalise on Myntra if the same products are listed on both sites.

Flipkart had previously acquired and shut LetsBuy, which specialised in electronics products. The two firms also counted Tiger Global and Accel Partners as common shareholders.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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