Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Universal Sportsbiz secures Rs. 46 croreSeries-B funding from Accel Partners

New Delhi / Bengaluru, July 7, 2015:Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd.(USPL), the celebrity fashion linescompany has secured Rs. 46 crore (~US$ 7.5mn) from existing investor Accel Partners in Series B round of funding. The second round of funding follows the initial investment by Accel Partners of Rs. 17.25 crore in July, 2012. The present round of investment will be used to accelerate USPL’s growth plans.USPL is the only home grown Indian company with significant presence in the multi-billion dollar celebrity fashion lines business with three distinct offerings.
Founded in April 2012, USPL’s portfolio of leading brands includeWrogn, a premier fashion brand inspired by Virat Kohli,Imara, a contemporary women’s ethnic fashion brandwithShraddhaKapoor andCollectabillia, which e-tails sports, entertainment and  based fashion accessories.
USPL will deploy the funds raised through the just concluded Series-B funding to expand the distribution network for Wrogn and Imara across the country as also scaling up the branding efforts for the company’s offerings. It plans to enhance the network presence from 30 stores to over 75 stores for Imara and from 38 stores to 70 stores for WROGN.  Riding on the success of Imara, USPL also plans to introduce Imara Fusion, extending the brand’s core product philosophy of creating new tales of fashion, to develop contemporary designs for work and casual wear.          
For Collectabillia, USPL plans to extend its range of fashion accessories forging alliances with 10 leading iconic and celebrated personalities. As an extension of this initiative, Collectabillia will also seek to identify and engage untapped talent for developing and sourcing designs for its line of fashion accessories.
Anjana Reddy, Founder of USPL said that, “The last couple of years have been an exciting period for USPL.We have successfully established three brands and demonstrated market potential for home grown Indian celebrityfashion lines. Each of these brands has the potential to emerge as multi-million dollar globally recognized fashion brands having their distinct set of loyal customers. We are in a unique position to capitalize this potential that arises from a confluence of sports, celebrity and fashion culture in India.”
“The additional capital will accelerate our expansion plans of foraying into new markets and newer segments consolidating our pole position in the celebrity fashion line industry. We are happy that Accel Partners has acknowledged our performance and continues tosupport the company in its growth plans.” 
“The next phase in the evolution of fashion (e)commerce would be dominated by brands. As the pressure to improve margins in horizontal commerce and market places increase, good brands  will provide the answer.  USPL has an online and offline strategy for distribution. They have done an excellent job in building three great brands and have global aspiration in the near future ,” said MahendranBalachandran, Partner, Accel Partners India. 
USPL Offerings
WROGN (pronounced wrong), launched in October 2014, is a breakaway youth fashion brand which is inspired by the distinctive sense of style and the enormous youth appeal of cricketing genius, Virat Kohli. WROGN is an extension of his bold and dynamic personality which is expressed in each piece of clothing.WROGN is targeted towards open minded and progressive young men, who like to make their own choices  in life. The brand is experimental in its ethos and product philosophy. WROGN is one of the highest selling fashion brands on fashion portal Myntra and is available in prominent Shoppers Stop locations.
Imara, launched in February 2015, is all about reinventing fashion classics and creating a contemporary product narrative for ethnic wear, targeted at the young woman of today. Bollywood diva ShraddhaKapooris the face for Imara, and offers a refreshing touch on fashion, for the young and the stylish. The product designs reflect the changing outlook of the Indian woman. What women did once upon a time, is not relevant today and women, today, look at life in in a more carefree, liberated and progressive manner and that’s the target audience that Imara reaches out to. Imara is presently retailed at select stores of Central, Ethnicity, Shoppers Stop and available online on Amazon, Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra and Snapdeal.
Collectabillia is every sporting enthusiast’s dream. It’s online offering to fans is owningfashion accessoriesdeveloped around icons, and assists celebrities in extending their connect with their fans.Collectabilia offers tailored limited edition merchandiseof sporting icons like SainaNehwal, SaniaMirza, Virat Kolhi, Yuvraj Singh, VishwanathanAnand, Sir Viv Richards and Adam Gilchrist among others. During the 2015 World Cup, it offered an exclusive range of mobilephone accessories under the ‘Lionel Messi’ range and celebrated the phenomenon called Sachin Tendulkar with customized, attractive mobile cases, belts and wallets.

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