The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is in talks to invest in FirstCry, a mother and child goods-based company. If this deal is successfully executed, it could open doors for NIIF to invest in other tech start-ups in the country.
The investment will be via a secondary transaction estimated to be $200 million, where some early-stage investors of the company are selling a chunk of their stakes in the retailer. The funding is speculated to take place at a valuation of above $2 billion, the same as in March 2021 when TPG, ChrysCapital, and Premji Invest invested around $315 million in FirstCry.
SoftBank, the Japanese investor is the largest shareholder in the Pune-based company, with over 40% shareholding, which will come down once the round closes formally. However, it will still retain its position as the single largest shareholder.
NIIF manages capital commitments of over $4.5 billion across three funds Strategic Opportunities Fund, Master Fund, and Fund of Funds. In April this year, it made a $300 million investment in Manipal Hospitals, a first in the Indian healthcare sector.
FirstCry is also looking at an initial public offering (IPO) in the upcoming 1 to 2 years. Founded in September 2010, FirstCry had acquired BabyOye from Mahindra in a deal of $50 million back in 2015. The other investors in this company include Valiant Capital, Mahindra Group, Kris Gopalakrishnan, and Ratan Tata. They are present 125 cities across 300 stores. With a customer base of over 4 million, it has a catalog of more than 200,000 baby