Sixth Sense Ventures makes its debut investment in luxury watch retail firm Ethos
Ethos Watches | December 23, 2014 Consumer centric venture fund Sixth Sense Ventures, floated by former IDFC Securities' managing director and its co-head of research Nikhil Vora, has made its first investment in luxury watches retail chain operator Ethos Ltd. The quantum of investment is not disclosed. The transaction also marks the first entry of an institutional investor in Ethos, which is a subsidiary of public-listed watch component manufacturer KDDL Ltd, in a Series A financing round. “Ethos sits in well with our philosophy of investing in the 'consumer of tomorrow’...we see in Ethos, a fascinating opportunity to partner and participate in a scale business, which is likely to be extremely profitable and rides on the back of the strongest global brands,” Vora, founder & CEO of Sixth Sense Ventures, said. Ethos is one of India’s largest chains of luxury watch boutiques with 44 stores across the country and an authorised retailer for around 50 global luxury watch brands. It generated revenues of Rs 220 crore last year, up 27 per cent from Rs 172 crore in FY13. It opened eight new stores last year while shutting five non-performing stores. It introduced brands like IWC and Panerai in FY14 and finalised a retail agreement with FOSSIL Group to jointly open stores under the name and style of WSI by ETHOS. Ethos has also built an asset-light e-com platform, which is already generating over 20 per cent of leads converting into sales. “At Ethos, we believe we are at the cusp of a sustained growth, with global brands vying for a slice of the Indian emerging HNI segment,” Yasho Saboo, CEO of KDDL and Ethos, said. KDDL, formerly known as Kamala Dials, is a watch component manufacturing firm and seven years ago had also acquired a manufacturing unit in Switzerland. Sixth Sense Ventures, which is raising around $40 million its debut fund, was floated by Vora early this year. Vora is independently also a private investor in several firms including Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd (KKEL), which runs Kangaroo Kids Preschool and Billabong High International School; Vini Cosmetics, an FMCG company which raised funding from Sequoia Capital India last year; sports-focused digital display solutions firm Technology Frontiers, backed by Avigo Capital and MRO AirWorks, backed by NEA and GTI Capital.
With Sixth Sense, Nikhil Vora sees value in timepieces
Ethos Watches | December 23, 2014 Nikhil Vora, equity analyst turned private equity investor, and founder and CEO, Sixth Sense Ventures, will close the calendar year 2014 with two investments. While the first one is Ethos, India's largest retail chain for luxury watches called (subsidiary of BSE-listed Kamla Dials), the second investment will be in a company providing roadside assistance. Speaking to dna, Vora said the second deal (in roadside assistance company) will be closed in a few days. "The investment size will be in the Rs 5-10 crore range and that's pretty much the sweet spot for our Rs 250 crore fund. The investment theme will be domestic consumer-centric ventures including tech start-ups," he said. Vora, best know as research specialist tracking consumer sector in the country, had quit IDFC Securities as its managing director in January 2014 to launch India's first consumer centric domestic venture fund – Sixth Sense Ventures. He expects to make five to seven investments annually. While a majority of it will be Series A funding, Sixth Sense will selectively look at mid- and growth stage funding as well. "We can invest up to Rs 20 crore but those would be very exceptional cases/companies. Investment of up to Rs 10 crore will, however, form a larger pie in our list of investee companies," he said. While the fund is sitting on considerable investible capital (of the total Rs 250 crore) Vora said the final close will be achieved within this fiscal. On what got him interested in the luxury watch retailer Ethos, Vora said that the company's line of business sits well in the fund's theme of looking at entities catering to the 'consumer of tomorrow'. "Luxury watches as a segment is growing well, which is evident from the fact that Ethos has grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of a scorching 37% over the past five years and is a market leader in its space. "As more and more aspirational consumers look to upgrade (from traditional Indian brands) the play will be in the luxury category where masterbrands are dominant," said Vora, adding that Ethos is an authorised retailer for around 50 global luxury watch brands priced from Rs 10,000 to over Rs 1 crore. With online shopping gaining traction in India, over the past couple of years Ethos has also build a formidable e-commerce asset light platform. According to company officials, the online platform is generating over 20% of leads converting into sales.
Nikhil Vora’s Sixth Sense Ventures makes debut investment in Ethos
Ethos Watches | December 22, 2014 MUMBAI: Former equity research analyst Nikhil Vora's Rs 250-crore private equity fund Sixth Sense Ventures today announced its first investment in luxury watch retailer Ethos. "We have invested between Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore in Ethos, which is the largest retail chain for luxury watches," Vora, the founder and chief executive of the fund, said. He said that the fund is very near to closing another investment in a week's time and the second company is into road side assistance for vehicles. Ethos operates 44 stores across the country and has been authorised by 50 global luxury watch brands to sell their wares, Vora said, adding that the company has grown 37 per cent per annum over the last five years. It also has a presence in the online space, he said, adding that 20 per cent of the leads from the e-commerce platform are getting converted into sales. Vora said the fund will be deploying the entire corpus of Rs 250 crore over the next two years, with a ticket size of Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 crore per deal. Before getting into venture investing, Vora was the managing director and co-head of research at IDFC Securities.