Mumbai-based pop culture merchandise marketplace The Souled Store has raised INR 22 crores ($3 million) in a fresh funding round from Sanjiv Goenka Group-backed RP-SG Ventures.
The startup will use the funds to improve its backend technology and increase its marketing budget. Post the investment, Abhishek Goenka, Head of RP-SG Ventures will join the board of the firm.
Founded by three Mumbaikers Rohit Samtaney, Vedang Patel and Aditya Sharma in 2013, the startup sells merchandise related to pop culture. All the three of them put their love for Star Wars into business and built the online e-commerce store.
Co-founder Vedang Patel in a press release said, “Their (RP-SG Group’s) vast experience and differentiated approach makes them the perfect partner for The Souled Store. Over the last couple of years, we’ve grown at 2 to 3x each year, and the focus going forward will be to rapidly expand our manufacturing and backend capabilities, introduce a variety of new product lines, enhance our customer experience, and build our offline presence.”
The startup was profitable from its very first day has not incurred any operational losses since its inception. The Souled Store claims to sell fun, not just products. It claims to be India’s largest online store for selling merchandise of Marvel, Batman, Superman, Harry Potter, Star Wars, The Big Bang Theory, WWE, IPL and many more.
Speaking on the investment, Abhishek Goenka said, “We are very impressed with the team’s vision and execution maturity. The growth demonstrated by the brand through exceptional customer engagement on the back of strong unitary economics is outstanding, making it well positioned to become the number one player in the fast-growing pop culture segment.”
If we dive into the fan merchandise market in India, the industry is growing at 25 per cent every year and is currently worth to be around INR 6,000 crores. And there are not several startups in the field. So, The Souled Store somehow dominates the segment. The firm has plans to open a manufacturing facility in Bhiwandi to help its expansion.
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However, there is some niche specific merchandise store in India. Earlier, we have published a story about Startup Style, India’s first merchandise store for startups and entrepreneurs. There is also some merchandise store dedicated to Rajnikant fans, magicians, game lovers, singers and dancers.