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D2C Footwear Brand Monrow Secures Funding From 9Unicorns The company plans to expand its reach to India's tier-II and tier-III towns

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Bengaluru-based women's D2C footwear brand Monrow announced on Wednesday to have received an undisclosed investment from idea phase accelerator VC fund 9Unicorns.

In November last year, the lifestyle startup raised a pre-Series A investment from leading early-stage investors such as Venture Catalysts, Blume Ventures, LetsVenture, and other super angels Aprameya Radhakrishna, Sweta Rau, Archana Priyadarshini, and Ravi Soni.

The brand has received a total of INR 5 crore in funding so far.

With fresh funds, Monrow plans to expand its reach to India's tier-II and tier-III towns through its omnichannel approach.

"At a time when most emerging ventures were thinking greatly before taking the next step forward in an uncertain environment, we have doubled down and accelerated our growth. We posted double-digit growth during the pandemic. Our funding speaks volumes about our ability to bounce back faster than most of the other brands in the space to register strong post-pandemic recovery," said Veena Ashiya, founder, Monrow.

Founded in 2016 by NIFT alumnus Veena Ashiya, the company claims to be on a mission to make shoes more comfortable by striking a delicate balance between fashion and comfort.

"About 90 per cent of existing women's footwear brands in India leverage European/American shape and fitting, making them unfit and uncomfortable for the Indian lifestyle," Ashiya added.

While its primary focus is to grow the online customer base through its mobile site and lifestyle-focused e-commerce portals like Myntra and AJIO, it plans to open more brick-and-mortar stores this year.

"To say that Monrow has disrupted the fashion footwear landscape would be an understatement. The white space that the brand is operating in is worth a whopping $4.8 billion because it is unorganized. Being a first-of-a-kind digital footwear seller in the Indian shoe market, along with its focus on delivering unique value to the highly aspirational and comfort-loving millennial generation, gives a competitive advantage to the brand over its retail-focused peers. Thanks to the founding team's dedication and vision, Monrow has successfully captured the mobile-first generation's imagination by reaching out to its audience using quirky content and a full range of product offerings. We wish them continued success," commented Rajesh Mane, principal, 9Unicorns.

The company's gross revenue run rate is around INR 9 crore.

Monrow is currently selling its products across 14 locations in India through partnerships with its top retailers, including Shoppers Stop, Future Group, and Reliance, among others.

The startup also plans to use part of the funding to build a memorable digital experience by focusing majorly on creativity and innovation in the webspace expansion and virtual reality as a tool for achieving the highest accuracy rate. The brand, which has advisors like Prabal Ghosh, and Rashmi Daga, founder, and chief executive officer, Fresh Menu, is looking to open its mobile store.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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