Flipkart steps up fashion play; now invests in Sachin Tendulkar-backed startup USPL

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November 5, 2020 6:27 PM

Flipkart has been ramping up its strength in the fashion vertical amid the rising competition from Mukesh Ambani’s JioMart even as Amazon competes with Reliance to get its hands on Future Group’s retail business.

Flipkart Big Billion Days to create 70000 direct and lakhs of indirect jobs this festive seasonScapic acquisition is Flipkart’s second startup deal post-Covid. (Image: Reuters)

Walmart-owned Flipkart Group has made a strategic investment in the Series F funding round of the Sachin Tendulkar-backed youth-focused fashion startup Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd. (USPL) to boost its fashion business. USPL operates brands including Virat Kohli’s Wrogn, Imara endorsed by Kareena Kapoor Khan, Single by Ranbir Kapoor, etc. Flipkart already has an upper hand over its competitors in the online fashion segment with its sister portal Myntra. Launched in 2012, Flipkart, in a statement on Thursday, said that the USPL brands are currently present across over 750 offline retail outlets in more than 100 cities even as the startup has been growing at 40-50 per cent year-on-year. USPL’s existing investor Accel Partners also participated in the round.

“Post pandemic recovery has been great for us and we are at ~80% of pre-COVID sales. During the time when the world is moving towards omnichannel retailing, we can significantly strengthen our online strategy by working with Flipkart and Myntra, the two prominent players in the Indian online fashion space,” said Anjana Reddy, Founder & CEO, USPL. “USPL’s unique brands, backed by celebrity endorsements, have a strong appeal for the young fashion-driven Indian consumer,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group.

Also read: Online gaming: Govt losing revenues big time for not regulating real money gaming market, say startups

Flipkart has been ramping up its strengths in the fashion vertical amid the rising competition from Mukesh Ambani’s JioMart which had also recently expanded from grocery to fashion and now to electronics as well. Meanwhile, Amazon is also competing with Reliance to get its hands on Future Group’s retail business that runs popular retail chains including Big Bazaar, fbb, and more, and has a network of over 1,500 stores. Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) had in July said that its board has approved plans to raise Rs 1,500 crore from Flipkart in exchange for a 7.8 per cent equity stake in ABFRL that has a network of 3,004 stores and presence across around 23,700 multi-brand outlets. Similarly, Flipkart had also acquired a stake earlier this year in Arvind Fashions’ subsidiary Arvind Youth Brands for Rs 260 crore.

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