This Indian babycare startup is closing in on the unicorn club

  • SoftBank is investing $400 million into babycare startup FirstCry.
  • The investment will help FirstCry become a unicorn, which are startups valued at over $1 billion.
  • The Japanese investment firm already has a leading stakes in many other Indian unicorn startups.
SoftBank is leading yet another Indian startup into the unicorn club. The Japan-based investment firm has put in $400 million into FirstCry, a Pune-based babycare and mothercare retailer.

The investment is being put in by SoftBank in tranches, with $150 million hitting FirstCry’s as the first round. The funding will take FirstCry’s valuation to $800 million, making it just $200 million short of becoming a unicorn, which in startup lingo is used to refer to companies valued at over $1 billion.

FirstCry, founded nine years ago, has a presence in over 125 cities with 300 retail outlets.

Its previous investors include IDG Ventures, SAIF Partners, Valiant Capital Partners and Indian businessman Ratan Tata.

Indian startups have seen some big successes lately, with eight unicorns added to the prestigious club in just 2018, taking the total number of unicorns in the country to 18.

In what reflects SoftBank’s massive role in India’s startup scene, most members of this $1 billion-valuation club include Ola, Paytm, Policybazaar, Oyo Rooms, among others -- are already backed by the investment bank. Its $100-billion Vision Fund has its eyes set on the Indian startup ecosystem.

See Also:
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Online tutoring startup Byju’s is the latest Indian ‘unicorn’ going global
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