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Titan to acquire majority stake in online jewellery retailer Caratlane

Titan said in a filing that the exact stake and price to be paid for the stake is still under discussion, with a transaction expected to close in June 2015.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: May 23, 2016, 04.34 PM IST
BENGALURU: Watches and jewellery maker Titan Company, part of the $108 billion conglomerate Tata Group, is picking up a majority stake in online jewellery brand and retailer Caratlane. The Chennai-based startup, founded in 2008, had raised nearly Rs 350 crore in funding from New York-based investment firm Tiger Global Management.

Titan, which owns jewellery chain Tanishq, said in a filing that the exact stake and price to be paid for the stake is still under discussion, with a transaction expected to close in June 2015.

Titan's acquisition of Caratlane will be the second major deal by a traditional brick and mortar retailer in the online space, after Kishore Biyani's Future Group acquired online furniture retailer Fabfurnish from Germany's Rocket Internet last month.

Besides selling jewellery online, Caratlane has also started an omni-channel strategy with 13 stores across the country. The startup was founded by Mithun Sancheti, whose family is also in the jewellery business and also counts Srinivasa Gopalan, CEO of Lister Technologies, as one of the shareholders.

Caratlane competes with players like BlueStone, which has interestingly raised funding from Tata Group chairman emeritus Ratan Tata in his personal capacity. Other online players in the space include Melorra, which raised Rs 33 crore from venture capital firm Lightbox earlier this year and Voylla, which raised Rs 100 crore from Peepul Capital last year.

The deal will help Titan address the online demand in its key category, the jewellery business, which generated nearly 80% of its revenues in FY15. Shares of Titan Company closed at 365.45, up 1.74% at close of trade on NSE.

"For Titan, the acquisition brings significant capabilities in the e-commerce space along with a brand, a customer segment and a business model that are very exciting," said Bhaskar Bhat, MD of Titan, in a statement

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