Mid-market private equity firm Lighthouse has invested Rs 200 crore ($27 million approximately) in gifting platform (FnP) from its Lighthouse India Fund III. This is the company’s first institutional round of funding.
The company will use the funds to enhance the delivery experience, improve its systems and technology platform, said Pawan Gadia, CEO of retail and online at Ferns N Petals India, GCC and APAC regions in a statement issued by the company.
Founded in 1994 with a single store in New Delhi, Ferns N Petals started as a florist and has expanded into other verticals including cakes, plants, chocolates, cosmetics and spas, perfumes, personalised gifts, experiential gifts and others, offering 40,000 products. In a recent interview with YourStory, Vikaas Gutgutia, Founder and Managing Director of Ferns N Petals said that the company was also looking to add liquor as a category with relaxation on state government norms in some regions.
Recently, the company has also added personalised wishes by celebrities and influencers on its platform, including Delnaaz Irani, Sneha Ullal, Salim Merchant and others.
“Gifting is all about ‘delight’ and at FnP, we are committed to offering the best curated experience to our customers and their loved ones. We are very excited to partner with Lighthouse and look forward to learning from their deep consumer insights, developed through a focused investment approach,” said Vikaas Gutgutia, of Ferns N Petals in a statement.
The company operates through a franchisee model and has a network of over 400 stores across India. It also has a presence in three countries beyond India, including UAE, Singapore and Qatar. It plans on expanding its geographical footprint to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and UK.
The company claimed to have clocked Rs 600 crore in turnover for FY 2021-22 and maintained a growth rate of over 40 percent, despite challenges faced due to the pandemic.
“Gifting is a large but highly fragmented market in India. Online gifting has hardly scratched the surface and has huge headroom to grow, with digital tailwinds supporting such growth. FnP has all the required ingredients, including leading brand recall, its extensive supply chain network, a robust tech stack, and a seasoned management team, to capture a large share of this growth,” said Sachin Bhartiya, Founding Partner at Lighthouse Advisors.
Online gifting has not seen investor interest in India. Joint Ventures backed online gifting platform IGP.com had raised funds from Venture Catalysts in 2017.