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Sachin Tendulkar’s Universal Sportsbiz raises Rs 46 crore funding

MUMBAI: Legendary cricketer Sachin
Tendulkar backed celebrity fashion
line firm Universal Sportsbiz Pvt Ltd
(USPL) has raised Rs 46 crore in
Series B funding from its existing
investor Accel Partners.
Reports state that USPL, which
markets apparel under Virat Kohli’s
brand Wrogn and Shraddha Kapoor’s
Imara, is looking at a top line of Rs
75 crore for FY16 with the launch of
new lines and wider distribution
Accel Partners India partner
Mahendran Balachandran told the
Economic Times that the next phase in
the evolution of fashion e-commerce
would be dominated by brands. “As the
pressure to improve margins in
horizontal commerce and market
places increase, good brands will
provide the answer. USPL has an
online and offline strategy for
distribution. They have done an
excellent job in building three great
brands and have global aspiration in
the near future.”
The company also launched its first
product in February, Collectabillia,
which e-tails sports and
entertainment-related fashion
accessories. It sold sports
memorabilia including Tendulkar’s
autographed bats and Lionel Messi
laptop covers
Accel Partners had invested Rs 17.25
crore in the company in July 2012,
before which Tendulkar had taken a
minority stake in it for an undisclosed
sum. This new investment values the
company, founded by Anjana Reddy in
2012, at around Rs 225 crore.
Reddy told Times of India that the
company will deploy the funds raised
through the Series-B funding to
expand the distribution network for
Wrogn and Imara across the country
as also scaling up the branding efforts
for the company’s offerings.
Tendulkar told ET, “Universal
Sportsbiz has developed an interesting
model bringing together celebrities,
fans and fashion in a distinct manner.
The progress of the company has been
impressive and I am sure that the
future plans will be pursued
aggressively by Anjana and her team
with the latest round of funding.”
The company is also reportedly
planning to use a bit of the money
raised, for a new brand campaign.
For Collectabillia, USPL plans to
extend its range of fashion
accessories by tying up with 10
celebrated personalities. As an
extension of this initiative,
Collectabillia will also seek to identify
and engage untapped talent for
developing and sourcing designs for
its line of fashion accessories.
In the offline space, Imara retails at
Shoppers Stop, Central and Ethnicity.
Wrogn sells exclusively at Shoppers
Stop. Online, Imara is sold at several
online marketplaces while Myntra
sells Wrogn exclusively.
Besides Tendulkar and Messi,
Collectabillia works with other sports
celebrities like Vishwanathan Anand,
Viv Richards, Harbhajan Singh,
Muttiah Muralitharan, Sania Mirza and
Saina Nehwal. It is looking to add 10
celebrities but this time from the
entertainment space. Apart from
memorabilia, the brand also sells
fashion accessories.

Sachin Tendulkar’s Universal Sportsbiz raises Rs 46 crore funding

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