Investments, News

Funding Roundup: Homeveda, FirstCry and Ekstop

Blume Ventures invests in Homeveda Media Labs

Homeveda Media Labs, a digital media company, has raised an undisclosed amount from Blume Ventures. The company plans to utilize the raised funds for scaling operations, focus on developing content as well as mobile apps.

A venture of Harsh Rohtagi (IIM Ahmedabad alumni), Vinay Mishra and Hitesh Bagaria (IIM Kozhikode alumni), Homeveda was launched in 2012 and aims at creating on-demand video content focusing on health and fitness. It provides natural home remedies and other useful information in form of easy to understand, short 2 to 3 minute videos for free on its website.

As per the reports, the company also recently launched on Roku as a standalone channel which claims to get over 150, 000 views in first month. The company currently has over 200, 000 subscribers and around 30 Mn views on YouTube alone.

** Roku is an American company that manufactures a variety of digital media players that allow customers to access internet streamed video or audio services through televisions, including subscription-based services as well as services that are available through the receiver free of charge.

Firstcry to raise USD 15 Mn with plans to increase its offline presence

Firstcry, an online baby products retailer, is all set to raise USD 15 Mn from Singaporean sovereign fund Temasek’s subsidiary,  Vertex Venture Holding, as reported by ET. The team plans on pushing more upon its offline presence with the raised funds and build more on its hybrid business model.

The online portal was founded in 2010 by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha.  It is one of the leading online store for baby products and toys with 4000+ items over 100 top International and Indian brands. Besides this, it also has forayed into personal care essentials through newly launched portal GoodLife catering to beauty and wellness products.

Firstcry currently operates about 15 physical stores through the franchise route and plans to step up this network aggressively. With the latest funding, it will compete with brick-and-mortar retailers like Mahindra Retail’s Mom & Me and UK’s Mothercare.

Previously, in Feb. 2012 the company raised USD 14 Mn from IDG Ventures India along with SAIF Partners. Vertex has made more than 350 investments in the internet, social media and healthcare businesses across the south-east Asian markets.

Unilazer picks 25% stake in online grocery retailer Ekstop

Ekstop, a recently launched online grocery retailer has raised undisclosed amount from Unilazer ventures. As a part of the deal, Unilazer will be grabbing a 25% stake in the company. Based out of Mumbai, Ekstop was launched in 2012 by Shaurya Mehta and Sumat Chopra, specialising in home deliveries of groceries, supermarket products and daily essentials, and delivers all across Mumbai.

The company currently delivers all across Mumbai and plans on launching services to Navi Mumbai and Thane by February later this year. The company has partnered with over 500 brands to offer more than 8,000 products and has its own in-house logistics and warehousing capabilities.

“I see tremendous potential and scalability for the e-grocery space in India. A disconnected last mile experience for the customer, high customer life-time value, and an ability to build local monopolies in the top metros of India – are all exciting opportunities for this kind of business to grow exponentially,” said Abhishek Shah, AVP – Private Equity at Unilazer Ventures.

Previously, the company has also raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from a group of investors, including Jayesh Parekh, Deepak Shahdadpuri, Patrick Turner, Jungle Ventures, Sanjay Kamlani, and some senior executives of Google and McKinsey.

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