(L-R) Vedang Patel, Aditya Sharma, Rohin Samtaney, Harsh Lal, co-founders, The Souled Store M
erchandise and casual wear brand The Souled Store has raised Rs 75 crore in series B funding, led by Elevation Capital. The company intends to use the capital to expand its product portfolio on licensed merchandise and casual wear, build more brand awareness, expand offline retail presence across India, expand manufacturing capabilities, and ramp up hiring. “We aim to cross Rs 1,000 crore in GMV [gross merchandise value] by 2025,” says Vedang Patel, co-founder and CEO, The Souled Store. “Today, we’ve become the one-stop destination for all things pop culture in the country.” For Elevation Capital, backing The Souled Store came on the back of scale achieved by the company in a capital-efficient manner. “The Souled Store has successfully capitalised on India’s pop culture,” says Deepak Gaur, partner, Elevation Capita
l. The growth of the company, he lets on, is a result of its relentless focus on customer experience to drive loyalty, and data-driven merchandising to manage inventory and keep operations lean. The latest round of funding also saw participation from a clutch of angel investors, including Sahil Barua (co-founder and CEO of Delhivery
), Gunjan Soni (CEO of Zalora and former CMO of Jabong), Ramakant Sharma (founder and COO of Livspace), and Ashish Goel (founder of Urban Ladder).The backers are also impressed with the growth of the company over the last eight years. The Souled Store’s tremendous growth since its inception, and through the Covid-19 pandemic, is symbolic of sheer customer-love and execution excellence of the founding team, underlines Abhishek Goenka of RPSG Ventures. “We are very bullish on the milestones they plan to achieve in the coming years,” he adds.
Founded in 2013 by Vedang Patel, Aditya Sharma, Rohin Samtaney and Harsh Lal, The Souled Store was one of the first brands to bring in licensed merchandise. The company designs, manufactures and retails a wide range of apparel products with designs ranging from pop-culture themes like superheroes (Marvel and DC universes), movies (Star Wars
, Harry Potter), TV shows (Friends
, Game of Thrones
), and cartoons (Looney Tunes
, Tom & Jerry
), and has partnered with over 150 franchisees. The startup offers affordable fan merchandise apparel to internet-savvy, millennial and Gen-Z consumers. The company claims to have 836,000 followers on Instagram and about 2 lakh daily visitors on the website and app.Over the last few years, the company also diversified their product mix from fan merchandise and basic brand T-shirts to include other apparel such as athleisure, casual dresses, sweatshirts, and lounge wear. The company was bootstrapped for the first five years and received seed funding from RPSG Ventures in November 2018. Since then, the company has grown over 4X, claims Patel.