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Mensa Brands Picks Up Majority Stake In Gardening StartupTrustBasket

This is Mensa’s third acquisition this year, it had previously acquired Florona and Estalon

Gardening solutions startup, TrustBasket, has so far served over 1.2 Mn customers

Last year, another roll-up startup 10club had acquired three gardening startups namely Karatseeds, Gate Garden and Kriti Kalash

Continuing their acquisition spree, Bengaluru-based rollup ecommerce startup, Mensa Brands, has now acquired a majority stake in gardening solutions startup, Trustbasket.

This is the first-such investment by Mensa Brands in the home gardening space. The financial details of the transaction were not revealed.

Founded in 2015 TrustBasket offers a range of gardening solutions catering to different consumer segments. The startup offers gardening supplies, fertilizers, pesticides, among other products. Founded in 2015 by Santhosh Appaji, Santhosh Kumar N and Shekar N, the startup has so far served over 1.2 Mn customers.

Mensa Brands CEO and founder, Ananth Narayanan, said, “We have charted out a 5-year strategic plan for the brand and with our expertise in building digital first brands, I am confident that TrustBasket will be a household name, known for its strong community and customer experience.”

Echoing the sentiment, TrustBasket cofounder, Santhosh Appaji, said, “..In the last 6 years, we have witnessed rapid growth, serving more than a million consumers with our high-quality products. With Mensa team’s support, TrustBasket will be able to consolidate the domestic market and expand our reach to international markets.”

The investment comes amidst a growing trend of home-gardening amidst pandemic especially among millennials. Earlier, in November last year, Mumbai-based home gardening and startup Ugaoo raised INR 15 Cr from DSG Consumer Partners and RPG Ventures. Around the same time, another rollup ecommerce startup 10club acquired three gardening startups namely Karatseeds, Gate Garden and Kriti Kalash. In October of 2021, Kerala-based agritech startup PlantMe Agro Solutions also raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Kanaka Polypack.

This is Mensa’s third investment in 2022 itself. Earlier this year, the ecommerce rollup startup acquired aromatherapy D2C brand, Florona. Prior to that, it also acquired Kolkata-based leather brand, Estalon, for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in May of 2021 by ex-Myntra CEO, Ananth Narayanan, Mensa is a Thrasio-styled rollup ecommerce startup that acquires digital-first startups and scales them up across diverse categories including fashion and apparel, home and garden, beauty, and personal care.

Mensa is backed by a clutch of marquee investors including Accel Partners, Prosus, Tiger Global, among others. 

Mensa has seen rapid strides since its launch last year. In November last year, the startup became the fastest Indian startup to become a unicorn after it raised $135 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Alpha Wave Ventures.

The Bengaluru-based startup acquired as many as 14 D2C brands in 2021, within merely eight months of its launch. It is eyeing a portfolio of more than 50 ventures across a host of sectors by 2024.

Mensa’s current portfolio includes Delhi NCR-based digital-first kidswear brand LilPicks and Chennai-based denim brand High Star, Pune-based women apparel brand Karagiri, Delhi NCR-based jewellery brand Priyaasi, among others.

The Thrasio-style rollup ecommerce startup space is populated by many big names. Mensa’s competitors include Supam Maheshwari’s GlobalBees, Rishi Vasudev’s GOAT Brand Labs, Utsav Agarwal and Pulkir Chhabra’s Evenflow, Bhavana Suresh’s 10Club and a host of other players. Even the segment pioneer – US-based Thrasio, also entered the Indian market, earlier this month, armed with an INR 3,750 Cr purse to acquire Indian digital-first brands.

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