FirstCry.com was conceived when Supam Maheshwari, who would often travel abroad, found himself lugging baby products from different parts of the world for his daughter. The dearth and inaccessibility of high quality baby care products in India is what prompted Supam who always wanted to do something in the retail industry, to come up with FirstCry.com.
The Pune-based startup, which was launched in 2010, raised $10 million in its fourth round of funding led by the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Valiant Capital earlier this year. Since 2011, the company has raised a total amount of $69 million. Apart from online presence, they also have over 125 physical stores to reach out to online as well as offline customers. According to Supam there aren’t many options in India when it comes to quality baby products and he is trying to solve this problem by providing international and domestic brands to its customers.“The growth has been phenomenal, when we started people were not even aware that FirstCry existed and today we are the leading player of this market with 10-15% growth on a month-on-month basis,”says Supam.
The company claims to have over 90,000 products from more than 1,200 international and domestic brands which includes Funskool, Hotwheels, Pampers, Disney and so on. “We also have our own private label called ‘BabyHug’ which contributes around 25% to our revenue,” adds Supam. Last year, FirstCry tied up with 7,800 hospitals across India to distribute their FirstCry boxes to mothers, which contained baby essentials like diapers, lotions, baby wipes etc.
Today, the company delivers around 7,500 boxes every month. Seeing the growth and potential of hyperlocal delivery in the startup ecosystem, FirstCry also launched same day delivery service across 18 cities earlier this year.
“Around 3000 products are now available for this service provided the order is placed by 12 noon,”adds Supam.
In terms of challenges, Supam mentions that expanding BabyHug and making the brand available to their customers still remains the biggest challenge apart from operational challenges and they will be introducing more categories under their private label to reach out to more customers.
Though FirstCry claims to be the leading player in the market, there have been many startups in this space attracting huge investments. Earlier this year Hopscotch raised $11 million from Velos Capital Partners with participation from Rise Capital, Jabbar Internet Group and existing investors LionRock Capital and Skype co-founder Tovio Annus.
Bengaluru based Babyoye .com has also raised $12 million in 2012 from Helion Venture Partners, Accel Partners and Tiger Global.