The Souled Store, a Mumbai-based lifestyle and fan merchandise startup, has raised Rs 135 crore ($16.4 million approx) in a Series C round led by Xponentia Capital Partners. The funding round also saw participation from returning investors Elevation Capital and RPSG Capital.
As per the startup, the raised funds will be used to expand into new categories and plans to launch over 100 stores across the country in the next two years. The startup will also offer a 100% buyback of vested employee shares as part of its ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) programme.
The Souled Store | Official, Licensed Merchandise
Founded in 2013 by Vedang Patel, along with Rohin Samtaney, Aditya Sharma, and Harsh Lal, The Souled Store is a Mumbai-based lifestyle and fan merchandise startup offering products ranging from t-shirts, boxers, backpacks, and mobile covers, to socks, pins, badges, and a whole lot more.
The D2C apparel startup claims to receive nearly 70% of orders through its own website, followed by 15% from other online marketplaces and the rest from its stores.
Speaking on the development, Vedang Patel, Co-founder of The Souled Store, said,
“We have built a sticky, repeatable customer base, and our repeat rates are as high as 90% in six months. We have managed to crack this as most direct-to-consumer brands rely on online marketplaces for almost 80% of their orders.”
Currently, the Mumbai-based startup has 12 stores across five cities. The firm has added sneakers and kidswear to its offerings, besides fan merchandise apparel for the target group of 18-32-year-olds.
As per the startup, stores take a maximum of two to three months to recover the capex. It has stores in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, and Indore.
Competing with the likes of Planet SuperHeroes owned by Nodwin Gaming, the Mumbai-based startup currently claims to be at an annualised revenue of Rs 450 crore in terms of Gross Merchandise Value (the total value of goods sold over a period of time by an online platform).
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