Fireside Ventures, an early-stage venture fund founded by ace investor Kanwaljit Singh, said it expects its portfolio of consumer brand start-ups to go global and cross $100 million in sales each over the next few years.
The fund which has a corpus of Rs 340 crore and has been anchored by marquee investors, including Premji Invest, Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal and Sunil Munjal’s Hero Enterprise Investment Office, said it is on track to achieve its vision to help build 25 iconic consumer brands over the next 15 years. According to the VC firm, while boAt, one of its portfolio companies and a lifestyle brand that deals in fashionable consumer electronics, has already crossed Rs 100 crore in sales last year, there are at least four others who are expected to cross the milestone this year.
“So Rs 100 crore is looking like almost a lowball target. Now we are saying, can we be ambitious and think about $100 million,” said Kanwaljit Singh, managing partner, Fireside Ventures. “Why can’t we be part of the journey of the brand which can build a Rs 6,000 crore business in a reasonable period of time,” he added.
The company said that it has made six new investments and has deployed Rs 204 crore across 18 investments till date. The new investee companies include Azani Sports, an active wear brand selling sports apparel; Tangy Turmeric Private Limited (Tasty Tales), which makes ready to cook masalas and pastes, and MGH Labs (Bog Orchid), a manufacturer of mosquito traps for in-house and out of home use. MGH has created a smart machine called Bog Orchid, which uses non-toxic pheromones to attract, catch, and eliminate mosquitoes.
Fireside also said that it has invested in Ayurveda product companies--Transformative Learning Solutions (The Ayurveda Experience) and Kapiva Ayurveda, and AnKa SumMor Foods Private Limited, a tech-enabled sales and distribution firm.
“For the first time, we have started seeing a genuine emergence of brands which are born in India for the world,” said Singh, who previously co-founded Helion Venture Partners. “They are basically taking the India story to the global market.”
According to a World Economic Forum and Bain & Company report, India will post a 4x growth in consumer spend by 2030. It will add 21 million high-income and 140 million middle-income households. India will be a young consumer economy with 77 per cent millennials and Gen Z. Consumer spend alone is slated to go from $1.5 trillion to $6 trillion.
“What we have seen in the West is already starting to happen in India,” said Kannan Sitaram, venture partner at Fireside Ventures. He said, besides the huge amount of transactions in fast-moving consumer goods sector, the fund is seeing disruptive innovations happening in other aspects of consumer wallet including apparel, durables, pharma and education.
The demand is also being driven by the millennials focusing on aspects like eating healthy food, personal care, preventive healthcare and living better. “These are some of the hotspots where we are looking at how to do investments,” added Sitaram.