Ananth Narayanan Starts Mensa Brands After Exiting from PharmEasy – Medlife Deal
After securing a blockbuster release from the PharmEasy-Medlife agreement, Ananth Narayanan launched a new business, Mensa Brands, to build a technology-led ‘House of Brands’ for the e-commerce industry.
Mensa also closed its Series A sponsorship round, earning $ 50 million. The cycle was led by Accel Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, and well-known investors such as Kunal Shah, Mukesh Bansal, Rahul Mehta of DST Global, and Scott Shleifer Tiger Global. In addition, credit facilities from Alteria Capital and InnoVen Capital are also protected.
Mensa’s vision is to collaborate and invest in the first digital products and measure them explicitly. Across the following three years, the company will acquire more than 50 brands in all categories, including home, garden, clothing, personal care, and beauty. It can also take these products to global markets such as the U.S. and the Middle East.
“Developing digital products from India is a great chance,” said Ananth Narayanan, founder and CEO of Mensa Brands. “We are especially excited and enthusiastic about working with excellent developers and accommodating to scale their products globally. Having seen first hand in Myntra and Medlife, we know the effort required to scale the digital brand.”
Narayanan previously worked as CEO of a Walmart-owned online retailer in Myntra and a senior partner at McKinsey & Company. Most lately, he was the author and CEO of Medlife, which he successfully merged into Pharmeasy to create India’s largest healthcare company, with business facilities including pharmacy, diagnostics, and e-consultation.
This month, FarmEasy said it acquired Medlife for an undisclosed price. The deal will make FarmEasy the essential player in the domestic online pharmacy sector, with a combined business that will serve two million customers a month. The agreement looks at the value of Medlife’s shareholders at $ 250 million, according to sources.
The team of founders in Mensa, meaning ‘constellation’ in the ancient Greek language, has a combined experience of more than 60 years in Indian and international e-commerce. Mensa said he is interested in growing and nurturing products through growth markets, performance improvements, and critical financial management.
“We are delighted to work with Ananth (Narayanan) and the team in Mensa. Not only are they extremely talented, but they have also chosen the problem of product integration which we believe has the right residues,” said Subrata Mitra, Accel Partners Partner. “With the rapid digitalization of global trade, this model will add to product owners, forums and consumers and therefore should proliferate.”
Through their experience, Narayanan and his team bring domain technology into market-environment technologies, data mining, digital marketing, phase and performance management, product design, and global expansion. Mensa will provide a data-driven approach in the markets, better balance, and focus on consumer information on all its products that should help with the overall NPS (net promoter points).
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Navroz Udwadia, the founder of Falcon Edge, said Narayanan and his team at Mensa built rapid growth and profitable startups. “It’s a rare combination, and we strongly believe that a professionally paid game in every category will create huge profits.”
Mensa said it was exciting to talk to entrepreneurs eager to work with it as the joint venture firm will grow and scale products.
“In Mensa, we are witnessing the birth of ‘Trasio of India’ and are very happy to support Ananth (Narayanan) and the team in their vision to build India’s first Market House,” said Niren Shah, executive director and head of the Norwest Venture Partners in India.
US-based Thrasio is a digital goods company that gains Amazon FBA private label and commerce businesses directly to consumers. Mensa will be looking at profitable annual products ranging from Rs 10 crore to Rs 70 crore. And the chance is that there are a few thousand such products in the world.
Narayanan said the timing of the launch of the Mensa is complete as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic and the tailbone. In addition, many brands are seeing positive momentum for online sales.
Mensa said it is different from commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart, which also provide digital tools for exporting and exporting them to other markets. The company said it was ‘neutral’ and did not support a single call.
“We will sell both in all markets and go globally,” Narayanan said. “We can not only support the founders with (capital) but also help their product grow. We can also give them cash outflows.
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