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Flipkart Banks On Rising D2C Wave, Aims To Nurture 100 ‘Make In India’ D2C Brands

Flipkart Boost will help select, nurture, support, raising funds, and leveraging expertise to over 100 ‘Make In India’ D2C brands


Indian startup ecosystem

The Thrasio-style program is in partnership with investors including A91, DSG, Fireside Ventures, Matrix, Sequoia, and Stellaris Venture

Indian startups like Mensa Brands, G.O.A.T. Brand Labs, GlobalBees, Evenflow, Powerhouse91, 10club, etc are already based on the Thrasio model.

As the Indian startup ecosystem embraces the Thrasio model that has led to substantial funding into the companies linked to the model in the past couple of months, Walmart-owned e-commerce giant Flipkart has now launched ‘Flipkart Boost’, an integrated, service-fee based programme for D2C brands, which is a similar model.

The company said it will provide end-to-end support covering planning, advertising, cataloguing, logistics, quality control and mentoring to homegrown brands.

D2C brands

In partnership with investors including A91, DSG, Fireside Ventures, Matrix, Sequoia and Stellaris Venture, Flipkart will also help brands secure potential funding. The programme which started inviting brand participation in September 2021, will select 100 ‘Make in India’ D2C brands to build and nurture them based on the following criteria:

  • Growth potential
  • Sustainable revenue run rate
  • Focus on quality
  • Commitment to building a long-lasting brand
  • Product mix
  • Customer orientation

Flipkart Boost Programme

According to the company, it piloted the programme earlier this year with participation from F&B, baby care, lifestyle, beauty and home improvement brands, including Bikaner-based food tech Delight Foods and Mumbai-based D2C beauty brand Pilgrim.

“With the Flipkart Boost Programme, we aim to build and nurture these growing customer-focused businesses by providing them relevant mentoring that covers access to a network of investors, market intelligence, scalability programmes, and marketing engagements,” said Ravi Iyer, SVP and corporate development head at Flipkart, adding that digital-first brands and the onset of the pandemic have demonstrated strong potential in the D2C market.

Thrasio-styled model

The Thrasio-styled model will help brands leverage the e-commerce giant’s expertise across functions with value-driven business insights, digital visibility, and geographical expansion.

Founded by Joshua Silberstein and Carlos Cashman in 2018, Thrasio is a US-based company that invests and then acquires third-party private label businesses on Amazon. The startup collaborates and acquires them.

Typically, it buys brands for everyday products from small business owners for a purchase price of more than $1 million. Once it acquires the brand, it upgrades its marketing, product development and supply chain management.

Some popular brands competing for a piece of the acquiring and nurturing market space include Mensa BrandsGOAT Brand LabsFirstCry’s GlobalBeesEvenflowPowerhouse91UpScalio, and 10club – all based on the Thrasio model.

e-commerce platform

While there has been no mention of acquiring such brands, Flipkart looks to be on toying with the same plan.

The e-commerce platform has been an active participant in the growing startup ecosystem. Flipkart Leap, the company’s accelerator programme, helps new and upcoming startups in partnership with Startup India, a government think-tank for the ecosystem.

Flipkart Ventures financially enables digital startups to bring their ideas to fruition. The company also holds minority control in 12 startups in India. Dubbed as Flipkart Mafia, ex-employees of the company have founded more than 250 startups.

Today, with more people shopping online than ever before as 2.14 Bn people are expected to buy goods and services online globally in 2021. The D2C sector in India is currently worth $44.6 Bn (end of FY 2021) and is expected to be worth $100 Bn by 2025, as per a report by Avendus Capital in October 2020.

Further, the Indian D2C segment has seen significant investor activity for the past few years as e-commerce market conditions have matured and evolved. In the first seven months, Indian D2C startups raised $783.7 Mn across 66 funding deals, as per Inc42+ Analysis. With 139 deals, a total amount of $833.5 Mn has been raised since 2014 by D2C FMCG startups.

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