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Exclusive: RIL is acquiring Google-backed fashion e-comm startup Fynd


Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industry Limited is in advanced talks to acquire fashion e-commerce platform Fynd, said three sources aware with the deal. As per sources, the duo has been involved in negotiation for about one and a half month.

“Probable contours of the deal has been finalised by both firms. On the lines of acquisition of edtech startup Embibe, RIL may acquire over 70 per cent of Fynd. However, it could be a complete acquisition also,” said two of the above sources to Entrackr.

Sources requested anonymity as the discussion is private and they aren’t authorised to speak to media.

The acquisition would be crucial for RIL and help its much talked about entry in consumer Internet space. The Ambani-led company is slated to kick-off its e-commerce operations by April-May this year. The petroleum to telecom juggernaut is said to take on Amazon and Walmart, and disrupt the e-commerce segment that is slated to touch $84 billion by 2021.

“If nothing goes wrong from here, the acquisition would be announced later this month,” emphasised aforementioned sources.

Fynd lets fashion and lifestyle brands sell online. “RIL e-commerce play would be around powering offline sellers and brands whereas Fynd follows omnichannel strategy. Hence, the deal makes acute sense for Reliance Industry Limited.

Backed by Google – Fynd had raised over Rs 100 crore from over 50 investors including IIFL, Kae Capital, Patni and Axis Capital amongst many others. Almost a year ago, Google led undisclosed amount of Series C round in the Mumbai-based firm.

Filings with RoC showed that Google had infused Rs 46 crore in Fynd while Kae Capital had put in about Rs 7 crore since October 2017. In FY18, the company had revenue of mere Rs 4.8 crore at a total loss of Rs 24 crore.

While the amount and size of equity acquisition are yet to be ascertained, replying to Entrackr query Fynd co-founder Harsh Shah said that the company is not looking to get acquired at all.

“There are many people, financial investors and strategically who have shown interest in investing in Fynd but there are not strong conversations going on and none of them are for an acquisition,” said Shah.

RIL has not responded to Entrackr queries until the publication of the report.

This is the fourth acquisition for RIL in startup space. Previously, it acquired controlling stakes in Embibe, EasyGov, Reverie Technology and Sankhya Sutra Labs. Although the group invested in grab, it’s reportedly eyeing a majority stake in it.

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