Mumbai-based merchandise retailer Planet Superheroes has raised ₹14 crores ($2 million) in series A round from DSG Consumer Partners and Japan-based Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund.
The startup plans to use the freshly raised capital to expand its retail footprint and distribution channels as well as solidify its technology to strengthen the supply chain. Furthermore, Planet Superheroes will increase licencing partnerships across new segments and product categories.
Yuki Kawamura, principal, and head of India Investments at AET Fund said, “Together with the strong leadership of Jaineel and Sumit, AET Fund will support introducing amazing characters and stories from all around the world to India, drawing closer to a “heart-driven world”. It is innovative businesses like these that speak to the entrepreneurial spirit of the heart.”
The startup is looking forward to expanding to Tier 2 cities by launching stores along with PVR Cinemas. Founded by Karan Rai, Sumit Shah and Jaineel Aga in 2014, the startup focuses on selling licenced character merchandise. It currently sells over 50 categories of apparel, toys accessories.
Jaineel Aga, CEO and cofounder of Planet Superheroes said, “We are ever grateful that DSG continues to back us ever since our first seed round and we couldn’t have asked for better partners in this growth stage. Our company’s vision aligns very well with the core philosophy of AET’s fund and we knew they would be an excellent fit after our first meeting with Yuki. Their value addition via international introductions started even before the term sheet was signed.”
The startup currently operates 15 stores and has its own e-commerce portal. It has partnered up with modern retailers like Hamleys and Toys R Us as well as Marvel, Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, Fox Studios, Disney and EONE to sell official merchandise. Planet Superheroes has invested in a robust omnichannel technology stack to solve critical problems. Planograms with automated alerts help it with ideal product curation at their stores.
“Jaineel and team have demonstrated their ability to build a capital efficient model to attain a product-market fit and we are happy to back them as they scale this business through their omnichannel strategy,” said Deepak Shahdadpuri, Managing Director, DSG Consumer Partners.
The global licencing industry is worth $271.6 billion, according to the Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey 2018. Apparel leads all products categories with $40.67 billion in revenue and accounts for 15 per cent of total global licensed retail sales followed by Toys at $36.12 billion and other fashion accessories at $31.04 billion.