Lingerie e-tailer Zivame.com, run by Bangalore-based Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt Ltd, has raised Rs 250 crore ($40 million, based on forex rates when the transaction was closed last month) in its Series C round of funding from Zodius Technology Fund and Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah.
Its existing investors Unilazer, IDG Ventures and Kalaari Capital also participated in the round, it said on Thursday.
The funds will be used for marketing, merchandise expansion, increasing consumer touch points and strengthening technology infrastructure, it added.
Zivame that recently launched its mobile app and currently has between 10,000 and 50,000 downloads on Android, says close to 60 per cent of its traffic comes from mobile.
"Worldwide, lingerie is the most exciting category in the women's apparel segment. The fact that reputed investors like Zodius and Khazanah have invested in us highlights the robustness of our vision, business model and execution capability," Richa Kar, founder and CEO, Zivame, said.
Shilpa Kulkarni, managing director of Zodius Technology Fund, said, "We believe Richa and team are building a formidable business by providing Indian women consumers product choices of the like that they have never experienced before, while providing superior customer engagement. Their ability to use technology to customise the buying experience and provide world-class private label products is noteworthy."
Zivame started operations in August 2011 and deals in lingerie, loungewear, swimwear, nightwear and allied categories. Since then, the portal has gone through certain changes and recently added categories like fashion apparel to its offerings.
Today, the company holds a lion's share of the lingerie e-commerce vertical and claims to sell more than one bra per minute. Zivame has a number of private labels including Penny and Coucou and over 60 per cent of its revenue comes from its in-house products. The company said it has launched a data sciences lab to make confidence boosting affordable products.
Lingerie e-commerce players compete against themselves as well as lifestyle apparel sellers such as Jabong and Myntra besides horizontal e-tailing giants Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Several lingerie e-tailers have got venture funding. Delhi-based Purple Panda Fashions Pvt Ltd, which runs online-first lingerie and sleepwear brand Clovia, had raised Series A funding from IvyCap Ventures in June this year.
In September last year, Mumbai-based MTC Ecom Pvt Ltd, owner of online lingerie shop PrettySecrets, secured its Series A round of funding from Orios Venture Partners, a VC fund run by angel investor Rehan Yar Khan, besides Indian Angel Network (IAN) and early-stage investor IndiaQuotient.
Other prominent players in the online lingerie shopping space are StrapsAndStrings, ShopImagine and Cilory. Earlier, two other companies—Oyegirl and HerStyle—had shut their operations.
Zivame is the most funded among its peers. The startup had previously raised around $9 million in two rounds of funding from IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Unilazer Ventures. The fresh funding comes almost two years after its last fundraising move, as per VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.
Meanwhile, for Khazanah, this marks the first tech investment in India. It has previously bet on healthcare and pharma besides the financial services space in the country.
Its peers from Singapore have, however, been active in backing Indian tech ventures especially e-commerce players. Singapore's GIC has invested in Flipkart while Temasek is an investor in Snapdeal. They have also invested in other technology ventures in India.
Chinta Bhagat, executive director (investments), Khazanah India Advisors Pvt. Ltd, said Khazanah may invest more in Indian e-commerce sector.
Avendus Capital advised Zivame on this deal.