FirstCry relaunching Goodlife as flash-sales site for baby products

Pune-based BrainBees Solution Pvt Ltd, which runs hybrid online-offline baby and kids retailer, is relaunching after pivoting its business model from a personal care and home products etailer to a flash sales site for baby products, a person privy to the development told

The company had shut down Goodlife in 2013. It previously sold products across categories such as makeup, fragrances, skincare, bath & body, hair care and men's range among others.

Its new avatar is already live in public beta but formal sales are expected to begin next month.

When contacted, Supam Maheshwari, founder and CEO of FirstCry, declined to comment saying it is premature to talk about it.

The move would mean FirstCry trying out a new parallel business model for its existing business of selling baby products. However, to make sure there is no cannibalisation, the product inventory of the two sites would be different.

The new seems to be modelled on the lines of Nasdaq-listed flash sales retailer Zulily which sells products in the baby apparel, home décor, toys and gifts sections. Zulily went public a little over a year ago and currently commands a market cap of $2.29 billion. It had net sales of $808 million with net profit of $4 million for the nine months period ended September 30, 2014.

Goodlife will be managed by some senior executives who are currently with FirstCry.

The company will be sourcing products from foreign marketplaces as well as Indian and international vendors directly. It would not be an inventory-led model like FirstCry and will have a just-in-time procurement model. Being a flash-sale site, it is open only to registered members.

The development comes at a time when FirstCry has just raised, $26 million (Rs 160 crore) in Series D round of funding led by San Francisco-based hedge fund Valiant Capital Partners. Existing investors IDG Ventures India, Vertex and SAIF Partners, also participated in the round.

FirstCry was co-founded by Maheshwari and Amitava Saha in 2010. Maheshwari previously founded education startup Brainvisa Technologies, which was later sold to Indecomm Global Services.

The company now also has over 100 FirstCry-branded franchisee offline retail stores across 85 cities in the country.

In another recent deal, Hit The Mark Inc., which runs Mumbai-based curated baby and kids products flash sales site, raised $11 million in its Series B round of funding led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin's VC fund Velos Partners last month. The round also saw participation from US-based Rise Capital, Middle East-based Jabbar Internet Group, and existing investors Singapore-based Lionrock Capital and Skype co-founder Toivo Annus.

FirstCry had left behind arch rival BabyOye to emerge as a leader in its vertical in the past. BabyOye, which has struggled to raise fresh funding and was battling rumours of a shutdown, was recently acquired by Mahindra group. Mahindras already run one of the country's largest offline baby products retail chain under Mom & Me brand.

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