India: Paragon Partners Growth Fund – I (“Paragon Partners”) today announced the successful completion of two new investment transactions aggregating to INR 100 crore (approximately US$ 15 million). The transactions comprise a INR 75 crore investment in Cravatex Brands Limited (“CBL”), a pan-India retail and distribution platform for lifestyle, sports and wellness, and a INR 25 crore investment in InCred Finance (“InCred”), a technology-driven new age NBFC (Non-Banking Finance Company). With the completion of these two transactions, Paragon Partners has successfully deployed approximately INR 275 crores across four companies.
Cravatex Brands is a wholly owned subsidiary of publicly listed company Cravatex Limited, and has an exclusive long-term licensing agreement with FILA, the Italian sportswear and lifestyle brand, for footwear, apparel and accessories. Company also has the exclusive distribution rights, through its Proline Fitness division, for Johnson Healthtech (Taiwan), one of the leading global manufacturers of fitness equipment, to promote its brands such Matrix, Horizon and Vision (which compete with brands like Cybex, TechnoGym, LifeFitness and Precor).
Commenting on the transaction, Mr. Sumeet Nindrajog, Co-Founder & Senior Partner, Paragon Partners, said, “We are very happy to partner with Cravatex Brands, which is entering an exciting phase of growth. The opportunity to partner with global brands in the fast-growing sportswear and wellness industries driven by the strong Indian consumption story makes for a great investment thesis. We believe together we can significantly grow the FILA brand as well as reinforce the Company’s leadership in the wellness industry.”
Mr. Rajesh Batra, Chairman & Managing Director of Cravatex, said, “We are pleased to be associated with Paragon Partners as we embark on our next journey of growth. With the support of an actively involved investor of such high pedigree and our operational knowledge of the market we feel very confident of our future success.”
InCred is a technology-driven new age NBFC (Non-Banking Finance Company) founded by Bhupinder Singh (formerly Asia Pacific Head of Investment Banking, Deutsche Bank) and backed by Anshu Jain (formerly co-CEO of Deutsche Bank). InCred focuses on four lending verticals: Affordable Housing, SME (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), Education and Consumer Finance. InCred will extensively use its robust technology platform and its partnership model for efficient customer acquisition and credit underwriting for the under banked and under-served segment. Incred has developed a low cost and convenient paperless process offering a superior borrowing experience. The company has already raised over INR 550 crore from a marquee set of investors from India and overseas.
Mr. Siddharth Parekh, Co-Founder & Senior Partner, Paragon Partners, said “Paragon Partners is thrilled to support InCred in its goal to be a world class lending platform. InCred has put together a very strong management team with deep domain expertise and a well-defined execution plan. We believe that the company is ideally positioned to benefit from a significant lending opportunity given the current levels of credit penetration in India”
Commenting on the transaction, Bhupinder Singh, Chief Executive Officer, InCred, said “InCred’s key objective is to further the cause of financial inclusion for India’s underserved millions, using technology to enable innovative risk management processes, along with a simple and straightforward customer experience. We welcome Paragon who are joining us on this exciting journey and we hope to benefit from their specialised domain knowledge.”