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Exclusive: Sequoia and TIL-backed Spoyl runs into trouble, explores acquihire


Leveraging celebrities and enabling them to launch their fashion labels has been tried by several startups. However, none have managed to grow at a notable scale. The list includes the likes of The Label Life (previously The Label Corp), Spoyl and RAENA.

While The Label Life has been able to keep afloat, Sequoia Capital and Times Internet-backed Spoyl has been going through a hard time. According to three Entrackr sources, the company is in talks with several companies for a potential acquihire. An acquihire is more of a talent acquisition rather than a full-fledged company acquisition. 

“Spoyl has been in conversation with companies including Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal for acquihire. Existing investors Sequoia Capital, Rocketship VC and Times Internet, have refused to put more capital in it,” said one of the sources cited above on condition of anonymity.

Spoyl builds a network of suppliers, operations, content and distribution that celebrities can use to launch their own labels. It has powered the end-to-end e-commerce solutions for several celebrities including actors Mahesh Babu and Samantha Ruth Prabhu.

Since its inception in 2016, the company had raised about Rs 42.05 crore from Times Internet, Sequoia Capital, Rocketship VC, Whiteboard Capital Fund, Rajaram Family Trust, 500 Startups, Kimbler and blue-chip angels like Kunal Shah, Sujeet Kumar and Jitendra Gupta.

Sources say that the talks are yet to progress into an advanced stage. “None of the aforementioned firms has given any definitive roadmap for the deal,” said the second source, He too requested anonymity.

Queries sent to Spoyl, Sequoia Capital and Times Internet didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the post as and when they do.

Spoyl competes with The Label Life that provides contemporary fashion, accessories and home decor styled by Bollywood actors such as Malaika Arora, Sussanne Khan and Bipasha Basu. Kalaari Capital and Kalpavriksh, Centrum group’s private equity arm are investors in the Mumbai-based firm.

While influencer-led commerce has been gaining ground with the breed of new startups such as EkAnek, Simsim and BulBul, the celebrity-led fashion platforms haven’t been able to scale and attract large investments.

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