CHUPPS, a direct-to-consumer sustainable footwear brand, raised $1.1 million in pre-Series A round from Venture Catalysts and other lead investors such as Gunavanth Vaid from 4G Capital and Kaushal Vora from Genesis Packaging. CHUPPS has a 3-pronged strategy, which is to trailblaze eco-friendly materials, create products in new reimagined avatars, and provide best-in-class comfort and service to consumers.
A brainchild of Gaurav Agarwal and Yash Mukhi, CHUPPS was founded in March 2021 with “The Sole Of India” collection to transform the footwear industry into an opulent promoter of culture and customization of footwear. The company offers excellent product lines such as Nazarbattu, Mummy Ka Pyaar, and Banana leaf which take you back to the traditions and myths that we grew up with. It also provides customers with over 800 options to customize from, with super-fast delivery. Within a short period, the brand has become popular amongst the millennials and has grown revenue ten-fold since its inception.
Addressing the vision at the funding, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, President, and Co-founder, Venture Catalysts, said: “Startups with unique innovations are changing the world massively and making it a better and more sustainable place to live in. The huge industry of innovative footwear foresees a vast future with earth-friendly production and supply. Responsibility is a big part of CHUPPS ethos with products made from natural rubber, which do not use plastic and are 100 % vegan. In terms of market size, CHUPPS has great potential to disrupt and raise the industry.”
Expressing his views at the funding event, Gaurav Agarwal, Co-Founder of CHUPPS said: “We take immense pride in bringing the coolness quotient to footwear with our unique designs and eco-friendly products without compromising on quality and comfort.”
CHUPPS’s products are currently being sold through its portal www.chupps.com and popular online channels such as Myntra, Amazon, kiosks in premium malls and reputed departmental stores. The brand has successfully introduced itself in the middle eastern market of UAE and eyes to expand its online presence and offline footprint across India and in international markets. A significant portion of the funding will be used to fuel the expansion plans, along with launching new quality products and hiring skilled talent.
Speaking at the event, Yashesh Mukhi, Co-Founder of CHUPPS said: “Changing lifestyles and the emerging new customer class is shifting footwear preferences and how it is consumed. Our recent fundraise combined with the varied expertise of our investor group will help the brand offer differentiated yet relevant products for our consumers”.
Speaking on the futuristic investment, Rakesh Sony of Times Group said: “The $11B footwear industry in India is still in a nascent stage and there is room for several new innovations. The CHUPPS team with their vast experience in the footwear industry are committed to introducing new concepts making CHUPPS one of India’s most fashion-forward and responsible consumer brands”.
Social well-being is one of the core principles of CHUPPS’s foundation. Hence, they frequently invest their efforts by leading various social initiatives such as inventory donation with Sole4Souls and empowering youth by sponsoring sports clubs like India Rush Soccer Club, U8L Tennis League, Striders Running, etc.
Adding to this, Gunavanth Vaid from 4G Capital, said, “The changing landscape in the footwear industry in India presents a large opportunity in a relatively under-penetrated category. CHUPPS, with its distinctive products, innovative marketing, and a founding team with strong experience is well-placed to be a sizeable player in the coming years”.
CHUPPS has acquired the exclusive rights to the Marvel series on Disney+ in its category and will be launching the Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye range before the release of these shows. The company also plans to procure the license rights of a major sports franchise in the near future.
About Venture Catalysts
Venture is India’s first integrated incubator. It invests $250K – $1.5 Million in early-stage startups that have the potential to create enduring value over a long period of time. Venture Catalysts brings a lethal combination of Capital, Mentoring, and Business networks to help investee companies to succeed. Their innovation provides value to startups through its extensive angel network, funding, community, services, and co-working facility.