Arvind is in advanced talks to acquire apparel and fashion ecommerce company Freecultr. Arvind is currently carrying out due diligence of the online fashion and lifestyle brand and a deal is expected in the coming months. According to the article, Freecultr will be acquired by Arvind Internet, the conglomerate's online arm that is spearheaded by Kulin Lalbhai, son of Chairman Sanjay Lalbhai.
Started as an online fashion brand in 2011, Freecultr recently launched a new digital crowdsourcing platform, Freecultr Express, which allows anyone to create and sell T-shirts through their tee-stores on the company's sites without any need to make investments in inventory, operations or logistics. Under this format, Freecultr will produce T-shirts of the selected designs and the creator gets commission on sales. Freecultr said more than 5,500 individuals have used the platform to create more than 24,000 degree.
The company also operates nine Freecultr-branded brick-and-mortar stores, including in the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Dehradun, Lucknow and Bengaluru, according to its website. In 2011, Freecultr raised $4 million from Sequoia. In the following year, it got another $9 million from Sequoia and Moscow-based venture firm Ru-net, started by Russian billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky.
If the deal goes through, Arvind will become the latest among a host of offline retailers including the Future Group and Mahindra Group to acquire struggling online players.
In April, Future Group acquired FabFurnish from German investors Rocket Internet. Last year, the Mahindra Group snapped up BabyOye with Accel Partners and Tiger Global writing off their investments in the online maternity and baby products seller.
Lately Freecultr has been in the market to raise funds, but without any success amid funding drying up and this prompted the company to initiate talks to sell to Arvind.