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March 15, 2010 Business Standard

eYantra Ind raises $7.8 mn PE fund

eYantra Industries Limited, a Hyderabad-based corporate gifts and brand merchandising company, has raised $7.8 million (approximately Rs 35.4 crore) in a second round of PE funding led by Argonaut Private Equity.

This Series B funding also saw Chennai-based Ventureeast Proactive maintaining its pro-rata investment, which was $2.1 million (Rs 9.5 crore) in March 2008 and $1 million (Rs 4.54 crore) in September 2008, into eYantra.

“We plan to utilise 40 per cent of the Series B funding to seal three acquisition deals, which will broadbase our presence in the corporate merchandising sector, besides enabling us to diversify into online product customisation and basic office supplies space. The remaining fund would be used to equip our 1.1-million T-shirts capacity per year facility with technologies laser-embossing and 3D sublimation by May this year,” eYantra Industries managing director Phani N Raj, told Business Standard.

The nine-year-old-company, touted as the largest pure-play corporate merchandising player in the country, had infused its Series A fund into setting up the T-shirts manufacturing plant at the Apparel Park in Gundlapochampally on the city outskirts and acquiring 51 per cent stake in Loylty Rewardz, a Mumbai-based loyalty and rewards management company, in 2008.

Stating that the Rs 5,000-crore Indian corporate merchandising company in India, 98 per cent of which is fragmented and unorganised, is currently in a consoli dated phase, Raj said only two national and a few regional players would remain in the arena in the next decade, with the rest of the unorganised players either shutting shop, merging or consolidating with bigger companies.

“We are on the verge of completing the acquisition of Bangalore-based Hourglass Essentials in an all-cash deal, which will add 10 online brand stores and 3 retail stores to our current base of 42 brand and 17 retail stores across the country. We are also in the process of signing supplementary shareholders’ agreements for acquiring a Chennai-based online product customisation company and a New Delhi-based basic office supplier to strengthen our presence in the North. The first two deals will be closed this month while the third one (over 51 per cent stake) may spill over to April,” he said.

Raj said eYantra was entering the Rs 10,000-crore basic office supply market – which has only a few organised companies like Mumbai-based Staples and eOfficePlanet – primarily because of the demand from corporate players.

“We will leverage our 650-strong active clientele base in India, including Microsoft, Mahindra Satyam, Accenture, Genpact, Dr Reddy’s, IBM, HSBC, Google and Dell, to tap this market,” he said, adding the three acquisitions would add Rs 30 crore to eYantra’s expected revenues of Rs 55 crore this financial year (Rs 33 crore in FY09).