Titan to acquire majority stake in CaratLane
Titan Co. Ltd announced that it will acquire a majority stake in online jewellery chain CaratLane Trading Pvt. Ltd for an undisclosed amount, subject to due diligence. The exact stake that Titan will take and the valuation are currently under discussion and will be known upon signing of definitive documents. The transaction is expected to be consummated by the middle of June 2016.
The origins of CaratLane
CaratLane, India's largest diamond and diamond jewellery portal (also with a wide range of gold, platinum jewellery), was started in 2007, with the site going live in 2008. Based in Chennai, CaratLane was set up by Srinivasa Gopalan and Mithun Sacheti, the scion of Jaipur Gems. The company, with sales through both e-commerce portal and physical stores, currently has 13 stores across the country.
CaratLane's fourth round of funding from Tiger Global
CaratLane raised $31 million in Series D round of funding from its existing investor Tiger Global, a US-based hedge fund. The latest and fourth round of funding comes almost two years after it raised its Series C round worth around $10 million from Tiger Global. Before that, it had raised $10-12 million in its first two rounds of funding, in 2011 and 2012.
CaratLane's competitor in business
CaratLane competes with Bluestone.com (founded by Gaurav Singh Kushwaha and Vidya Nataraj), which is backed by Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd, the parent firm of Titan.
An exit for Tiger Global
Titan's deal would also be an exit for Tiger Global, which has been CaratLane's majority stakeholder, having invested several rounds of funding into the company.
Titan's acquisition to strengthen presence in e-commerce segment
The news of CaratLane's acquisition coincided with a disappointing quarterly report card from Titan. Titan, India's largest jewellery and watchmaker, posted weaker-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter. Net profit fell 14.4% to Rs. 184.11 crore in the March quarter. Sales fell 1.5% to Rs. 2,456.30 crore. The deal would give Titan access to new customers and design capabilities of CaratLane.