CHENNAI: In an instance of a large-liquidity event for a startup founder, Chennai-based CaratLane‘s founder Mithun Sacheti and his family have sold their 27.18% stake in the new-age jewellery startup to Tata Group’s Titan for around Rs 4,621 crore in an all-cash deal.
The deal values CaratLane at around Rs 17,000 crore, or over $2 billion and on its completion, Titan’s stake in the company will go up from 71.09% to 98.28%.
CaratLane recorded a turnover of Rs 2,177 crore for FY 2022-23, and the current transaction thus values the company at almost eight times its FY23 revenue. The deal is expected to be concluded on October 31, subject to approvals.
The transaction finds a place among the top liquidity events for a startup founder. Flipkart founders selling their stake to Walmart remains one of the record founder exits in the startup ecosystem.
“It is a bittersweet moment for me and the family; While the exit from a business that has been my identity all these years is bitter, maybe the valuation makes it sweeter,” Mithun Sacheti, founder of CaratLane, told TOI.
Titan MD CK Venkataraman offered a heady assessment of CaratLane’s prospects. “We have great faith in the India consumer story and believe that the growth journey of CaratLane has only begun and has a long way to go,” Venkataraman said in a statement.
A spokesperson for Titan said CaratLane presents “a unique multi-decadal growth opportunity”, and noted that there is “no immediate plan” to merge CaratLane into Titan.
Sacheti, who is also an investor, is keen on backing and mentoring more entrepreneurs, and is also hoping to spend more time on building tech-powered gold loan startup Oro Money, of which he is a founding member. “I hope to find my next passion soon,” he says.
Sacheti comes from a family of jewellers that own Jaipur Gems.
Professionally qualified in gemology and jewellery manufacturing, he founded CaratLane in 2008 after being inspired by the growth of the online jewellery segment in the Western markets.
Initially starting as a purely online store for jewellery, CaratLane went on to become a digitally-native omnichannel firm, setting up retail stores across major Indian cities, in addition to e-commerce offerings. While CaratLane created the online jewellery segment in India, more players, like Bluestone, Mellora and others, waded in later.
Sources told TOI that the Tata Group had been particularly keen on the CaratLane buy-out and negotiations on valuation were on between the parties for some time.
Titan had initially acquired around 60% stake in CaratLane in 2016 from erstwhile investor Tiger Global and gradually increased its stake over the years.

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