Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance Capital Ltd has invested Rs 6 crore ($903,000) in Luxuryhues.com, a Gurgaon-based marketing consultancy and shopping platform for luxury goods.
"As part of our investment portfolio, we are providing seed capital of approximately Rs 6 crore only in Luxuryhues.com, a digital platform for selling affordable luxury goods and services. We have no plans to make any strategic investments in the consumer and lifestyle sector," Reliance Capital said in a disclosure to the bourses.
A news report in The Economic Times quoted wine investor Ravi Viswanathan as saying that the Luxuryhues.com investment was made through a joint venture in which Reliance Capital and Viswanathan are equal partners. However, this could not be independently verified.
Luxury Hues Group Consultancy Services (India) Pvt Ltd, which runs Luxuryhues.com, also owns other entities such as multi-geography shopping property HighStreetLabels.com. Luxuryhues also operates the India arm of Luxury Marketing Council, a trade group with chapters in more than 40 global cities. It also has a financial services subsidiary Financial Hues Pvt Ltd and operates luxury concierge service Quintessentially.
The group was co-founded by Amit Dutta and Peter Raj Kapoor in 2009. Prior to this, Dutta was VP-marketing at American Express and VP-marketing sales and after-sales at General Motors. Kapoor was associated with American Express for 20 years and was VP and general manager ASEAN and Southeast Asia for global merchant services at American Express International.
Quoting Dutta, the publication said that Luxuryhues will offer high-end brands at "the best wholesale" prices. Dutta said it won't feature top luxury brands, but will be a platform for next-in-line labels that are more affordable.
A low-profile investor based in Singapore, Viswanathan had made investments in Sula Vineyards and Grover Zampa Vineyards along with Reliance Capital last year. In 2012, when Grover Vineyards and VallÃ©e de Vin were merged, Viswanathan had taken 18 per cent in the combined entity along with Reliance Capital.
In an earlier interaction with VCCircle, Viswanathan had said his private investment firm VisVires Capital was raising $200 million from external investors to bet on the consumer sector.
Reliance Capital is engaged in providing services around finance and investment, asset management, general insurance, broking businesses, consumer finance and asset reconstruction. Its erstwhile PE arm Reliance Equity Advisors has been renamed as Fairwinds Asset Managers Ltd, after its top team completed a spin-off last year. Reliance Capital also has an early-stage alternative investment arm called Reliance Venture Asset Management.
Reliance Venture Asset Management had recently put money in Bangalore-based Naffa Innovations Pvt Ltd, which runs a mobile payment technology startup under the brand of ToneTag.