Zepto’s early investors’ payday, Shein’s new lawsuit
The fourth edition focuses on Zepto's investors' early exits, ONDC to offer export option, and Shein landing up in a lawsuit. The newsletter is curated by D2C Insider's team.
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Welcome to the world of D2C Insider.
In D2C Insider Digest’s fourth edition, we explore ONDC’s export layer, payday for Zepto’s early investors, and Chinese fast-fashion giant Shein’s latest lawsuit. The company allegedly stole designs of at least three designers.
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Zepto’s new fundraise will give its early investors substantial exits
Zepto, which came into operations less than four years ago, will give its early-stage investors substantial exits after raising the reported $150 million. The firm is seeking a valuation of close to $1.3 billion in a market where firms have been taking valuation cuts.
The grocery delivery firm, which would be offloading shares worth $9.6 million, is giving exists to a bunch of early investors including Jacob Honig. The New York-based investor cut a $50,000 cheque back in 2021. Now Honig is expected to make $3.1 million.
The fundraise will be a much needed cash infusion for Zepto, which is competing with Swiggy’s Instamart, and Zomato’s Blinkit.
ONDC could be the newest platform to offer cross-border sales
Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), a state-backed platform, could enable brands to sell outside of Indian borders by the coming September or October.
ONDC’s chief executive officer (CEO) T Koshy said the first trial order demonstration will take place in the next couple of weeks. Started in December 2022, ONDC is an open platform, which connects sellers with other stakeholders in the online-selling ecosystem including payment partners and last-mile delivery companies.
ONDC is creating a backend network of exports by onboarding international logistics, shipping and billing, among other players. The platform is currently accessible in Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, and Mumbai, among other destinations.
Also, on the cross-border transaction front….
UPI will get activated in UAE
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) signed two agreements with the Central Bank of UAE, which could enable establishing a framework for cross-border transactions and payments.
Linking of India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Instant Payment Platform (IPP) will let users, from either countries, make fast and cost-effective cost effective cross-border payments, says RBI.
Swiggy to enter retail distribution through Lynk acquisition
For food delivery platform Swiggy, Lynk Logistics’ acquisition will unlock a new vertical—retail distribution. Apart from its core offering, Swiggy currently offers grocery delivery, through Instamart, and restaurant-discounts through Dineout.
Acquired in the share swap deal, Lynk supplies products from top fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands-- including Marico, Dabur and Hindustan Unilever (HUL)-- to its network of 100,000 retail stores spread across eight cities. Based in Chennai, Lynk was started in 2015 by Shekhar Bhende, a former consultant at Deloitte, and Abhinav Raj.
After US IPO scrutiny, Shein is facing a new copyright-related lawsuit
Shein seems to have landed in a copyright infringement act with a bunch of designers. The fast-fashion player-has a lawsuit filed by at least three designers in California federal court claims the Chinese fast-fashion giant has been producing and selling exact copies of their designs.
This brings Shein in violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, better known as RICO. The law was originally created to curb organised crimes. The fast-fashion player tries to create as many as 6,000 new products per day.
Shein is currently in the process of making a comeback in India through a deal with Reliance Retail. The firm’s app was banned in the country, in 2020, in interest of India’s security—is set to relaunch, and the Shein will sell its products through stores under Reliance Retail.
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Wakefit’s Chaitanya Ramalingegowda shares a new way of creating awareness about the mattress maker’s retail store.
“What does a D2C brand which has predominantly been online till about 15 months ago do to educate loyal consumers that there's now a cool store within a 3 kilometer drive?” Ramalingegowda asked in a post.
Wakefit’s marketing team took the company’s mattresses and sofas on the road to almost the consumers’ doorsteps.
Not only would this effort be kept into consideration by consumers to whom the product is getting delivered but also to the bystanders on the road.
This week D2C Insider’s groups were buzzing with discussions around the relevance of digital-first sales channels.
Most founders, who are part of D2C Insider, have created businesses by selling products majorly through marketplaces, and their own websites. In times when online shopping is seeing a correction these discussions seem very relevant.
What are your thoughts on digital-first sales channels? Are the still relevant?
D2C Insider’s #FRIENDSOFBRANDS
Apart from this, brands in D2C Insider’s community are also offering exclusive deals to fellow members. Under the #FRIENDSOFBRANDS initiative:
Prakriti Jaipur is offering 15% discount on products across their website.
So is Chiya Leaf on spends of Rs 499.
And fashion player Gazillion is giving 20% off on no min order value.
Want to work at the ever-growing D2C ecosystem?
D2C Insider’s job portal could help you out. In less than 15 days, we have received 51 applications, and as of now:
Deals of the Week
After Shilpa Shetty, Katrina Kaif and Rashmika Mandanna, Parineeti Chopra becomes the newest celebrity investor. The actor has backed Clensta, a personal care brand in a Rs 75 crore ($9.1 million) funding round led by TradeCred.
SmartDukaan, which runs more than 350 stores retailing smartphones, among other things, raised $10 million.
Last week, Amazon Global Selling selected 47 finalists for the third edition of its Propel Accelerator Program.
D2C Insider partnered with Amazon Propel as a community partner to help our community brands get through Propel, and we feel proud that more than 26 brands from the 47 finalists are from the community. These include:
Read of the week
We all know Sam Altman, don’t we? The revolutionary founder of OpenAI, which runs the buzzy bot ChatGPT. Turns out he does not own any equity in the company.
But he has investments across Stripe, Reddit and Asana, among 400 companies across Silicon Valley.
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