Fireside Ventures, an early-stage consumer brand-focused venture fund, announced the first close of its maiden fund with commitments of Rs 180 crore. The planned size of the fund is Rs 300 crore. Investors include Premji Invest, Mariwala family
office, WestBridge capital, RP-Sanjiv Goenka group and Emami Ltd. Avendus was the exclusive advisor-partner for Fireside Ventures
in the fund raise.
Fireside was started by Kanwaljit Singh
(Kanwal), a veteran in the consumer marketing and venture investing space with 30 years of experience in companies
like Hindustan Unilever, Intel and Carlyle Group. Singh was co-founder of Helion Ventures before starting Fireside Ventures.
The fund invests in consumer brands across sectors like food & beverages, personal care, home products from seed to series-A stage of a company and provides strategic support through mentors and in-house resources. Some of the brands the fund has invested in include Paper Boat, ID Fresh, Epigamia, Hokey Pokey, Yogabar, Goodness Beverages, Licious, Mama Earth, Vahdam Teas and Fable Street.
Kanwal is joined by Vinay Singh, who has over 10 years’ experience in consumer brands, digital marketing space and as an entrepreneur. He has worked at Hindustan Unilever and Bankbazaar.com and was cofounder of Stepni.in, which he sold to Quikr.
The Fireside team strongly believes that the timing is right for multiple consumer brands to be built in India over the next decade. This trend is driven by growing consumer aspirations for better quality and branded products across categories, the growth of modern trade and online channels and the quality of entrepreneurs starting these businesses. Since there is a shortage of quality consumer brands in India, there is significant interest from large strategic players in this space to acquire smaller brands that provide profitable exits to investors.
“We are aiming to become a top tier venture investor in the consumer brands space providing not only the much needed early stage capital to these exciting companies
but also provide support through in house resources and an advisor and partner network. The fund will invest across multiple stages in these companies
from inception till series A, and leverage the network of these marquee investors for additional co-investment
requirements,” says Kanwal.
Commenting on their investment
in Fireside, Rishabh Mariwala, Head Sharrp Ventures (Mariwala family
office) says, “We believe the ecosystem in India has evolved to see the emergence of many more start-up led consumer brands. Kanwal has an outstanding reputation among start-up founders for the value he brings in. We too look forward to lend a hand in building great new brands with Fireside.
Fireside has tied up with Avendus as a strategic partner for the fund raise
and will continue to work with the Avendus team across the range of their services.
“Kanwal’s thesis on the evolution of consumer brands resonated with us, as well as with the entrepreneurs and families that we work with. We believe this association will give both, our clients and us, the opportunity to grow with this rising trend and play a meaningful part in this wave,” says George Mitra, CEO, Avendus Wealth Management Pvt. Ltd.