Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) lifestyle brand Zouk has secured $1.5 million as part of its pre-series A round led by Stellaris Venture Partners. The round has also seen participation from the founders of Wow Skin Science, and existing investors Titan Capital.
The fresh capital will be utilized by the company to expand its presence in India and new global markets. Zouk will also strengthen its supply chain and distribution channels, and extend its product line with the newly infused funds.
Disha Singh, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Zouk, said, “In Stellaris, we have found the right partner, who can guide us to become an iconic brand in the coming years. We are excited that Rahul Chowdhri, Partner at Stellaris, will join our board. His vast experience of guiding multiple companies from their early stages to massive size and lucrative exits will be a big plus for us. Our first milestone is to scale Zouk to a Rs 100 crore brand in the next couple of years.”
The product portfolio of Zouk consists of laptop bags, tote handbags, slings, and chain wallets made from vegan leather, which is sourced and manufactured in India. The company plans to take its products to international markets of the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East while extending its range of products.
Presently, Zouk has more than 50,000 customers and plans to grow to double this base in the next six months.
Rahul Chowdhri, the Partner, Stellaris Venture Partners, stated, “The Indian D2C market is at its prime today, consumers have undergone a mindset shift in choosing to go online for their shopping needs and covid-19 has further accelerated this behavior. There’s never been a better time to build new-age consumer brands in and from India. E-commerce marketplaces and social media platforms provide a level-playing field for challenger brands like Zouk to compete with incumbent brands, and carve their own niche.”
Earlier this year, Zouk raised its seed capital from Titan Capital, Founders of Beardo and Mamaearth.
Kapiva, a homegrown Ayurveda brand operating in the direct-to-consumer space, has revealed the reconfiguration of its founding team. In this announcement, Shantanu, currently COO, and Anuj Sharma, CRO, will be elevated to Co-Founders. This strategic move aims to tap into the vast potential within the Ayurveda and wellness sector. Shantanu's primary focus will be on advancing the brand as a strategic asset, along with curating science-backed products. Meanwhile, Anuj will concentrate on integrating technology to seamlessly deliver comprehensive health outcomes.
The adoption of Ayurvedic offerings has surged globally, particularly in the post-pandemic era. This demand has been fueled by factors like heightened awareness about preventive measures, increased disposable income, and government initiatives supporting traditional medicinal systems. According to industry reports, this market is projected to grow by $6.81 billion from 2021 to 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.32 percent.
Shantanu brings extensive experience in marketing and e-commerce from his roles at Uniqlo and P&G across India, Southeast Asia, and China. Collaborating closely with Ameve, he will accelerate Kapiva's growth by penetrating deeper into the Indian market. Joining Shantanu is Anuj Sharma, a seasoned growth leader who has previously worked with brands like Myntra and Disney+ Hotstar. Anuj has been spearheading the brand's journey as the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) for the past 2.5 years.
He will be focused on enhancing the tech infrastructure, developing innovative solutions to enhance health outcomes, and driving profitability and sales across different regions. Their collective expertise, combined with Ameve's vision, is poised to elevate Kapiva's standing in the wellness industry.
Ameve Sharma, Co-Founder of Kapiva, stated, “Shantanu and Anuj have made significant contributions to Kapiva’s journey over the last 2 years. Their expertise and experience have propelled the brand's sales fourfold during this period. I'm thrilled to join forces with them to further enhance awareness and adoption in this industry. We strongly believe this is just the beginning, with substantial untapped potential waiting to be unlocked."
Shantanu, Co-Founder of Kapiva (Formerly COO), expressed, "Kapiva is one of the fastest-growing startups in the country. I am thrilled to be part of its journey and contribute to its success. I believe Ayurveda has the potential to positively impact lives, similar to the way Yoga has worldwide. We are gearing up to reshape the narrative of Ayurveda."
"We are entering an exciting phase in an industry that is shaping the future. I am immensely thrilled to join visionaries Ameve and Shantanu on this journey. Together, we can empower global consumers with holistic and contemporary solutions, and align with the government's vision to position India on the global stage by elevating Ayurveda as a significant export," added Anuj Sharma, Co-Founder, Kapiva (Formerly CRO).
DaMENSCH, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) men's lifestyle brand, has raised $16.4 million in a Series B funding round led by A91 Partners.
The company makes loungewear and innerwear for men. It will use the funds to invest in technology enhancements, strengthen and diversify the product portfolio, the company said in a release.
Venturi Partners and existing investors Saama Capital, Matrix Partners, Whiteboard Capital, and Alteria Capital also participated in this round, DaMENSCH said.
In November 2020, the company had raised about Rs 50 crore in Series A funding from Matrix Partners India, Saama Capital, Whiteboard Venture Partners, and Alteria Capital.
Anurag Saboo, Co-founder, DaMENSCH said, “The company will use the fresh capital to also recruit more product specialists. We have leveraged the tailwind from the consumer shopping behavior shift to online and have clocked Rs 100 crore in annualized revenue run rate or ARR in 2021."
"We are targeting a 3x growth year-on-year in 2022 and will be leveraging multiple channels for increasing our market penetration across geographies," Saboo said.
DaMENSCH competes with other well-funded startups in the segment such as Dollar Industries, XYXX, Tailor and Circus, and Lavos Performance in the last few years.
Founded in 2018 by Saboo and Gaurav Pushkar, Damesnch's product line includes Deo-Soft - India's first odor canceling underwear and Neo-Skin - thermo-regulating vests made from a curated composition of sustainable bamboo fires. The company expanded its offering within loungewear and sleepwear in 2021.
Damesnch sells to its target audience--men in the 20-45 age group through its website and other major e-commerce retailers, such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Myntra. The company claims to have made more than 10 million shipments across more than 50 cities.
Gaurav Pushkar, Co-founder, DaMENSCH said, "We are building a robust tech team to aid us in this next phase of growth while increasing investment in product development to continue to lead with innovation.”
Prasun Agarwal, Partner, A91 Partners said, "With a meaningful (40 percent) set of consumers shopping multiple (2-3) times a year, DaMENSCH has managed to grow on the back of loyalty from existing customers and continuous addition of new customer segments."
Sudipto Sannigrahi, Principal, Matrix India said, "DaMENSCH has achieved tremendous growth over the last 12 months and is poised to be the leading mass-premium brand for the men's apparel category in India."
Leading FMCG personal care brand WOW Skin Science has appointed Gurpinder Singh Walia as the Senior Vice President - Offline Sales.
At WOW, he will be heading the offline sales including general trade and modern trade for WOW Skin Science and Body Cupid. His role will also entail contributing to the development, implementation, monitoring, and review of business strategies that maximize the brand's retail top and bottom line.
In his career spanning over 19 years, he comes with vast experience in the consumer goods industry-leading mandate for brands such as Dabur India, Abbott Nutrition International, Henkel India, SC Johnson Products, and Parle Products.
Gurpinder Singh Walia, Senior Vice President of Offline Sales said, "WOW has led an iconic journey through its vast online presence in a country that is 90 percent rooted in offline experiential. I am excited to be driving the next growth phase of the organization through various offline touchpoints."
Manish Chowdhary, Co-Founder, WOW Skin Science stated, "Gurpinder will be a great addition to the WOW Skin Science team. Being an experienced and a strong sales professional, he will be able to devise and navigate sales strategies that will strengthen the brand positioning and recall. With him now as part of our brand, we are looking to enhance a WOWsome offline experience through various interesting collaborations."
Firefox Bikes has joined hands with Salesforce, a global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to support its digital transformation journey.
With the deployment of Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and Marketing Cloud, Firefox aims to deliver a consistent Omnichannel experience across all its digital and physical touchpoints. With this Firefox envisions to have a business model that combines direct-to-consumer (D2C) from the website and a countrywide offline network integrating 500+ retail stores on a single platform.
Disruption By Technology
The pandemic has accelerated a ‘technological revolution’ in retail with brands adopting uniquely devised strategies to navigate the ‘new normal. Adopting best-in-class technology, Firefox is revolutionizing the way cycles are sold in the domestic market. The brand has strengthened its online presence by integrating the dealer network, inventory, and now after-sales service on the cloud with Salesforce. Firefox is deploying Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Datorama solutions for powerful analytics, strategic direction and to ensure operational stability.
Sriram Sundresan, CEO, Firefox Bikes said, “Firefox has always been at the forefront of innovation and adoption of technology in terms of providing a seamless customer experience. Today, as consumers continue to seek a uniform experience both online and offline, it is imperative for businesses to have a single view of the entire customer journey. Our collaboration with Salesforce is further enabling us to leverage data insights to provide a seamless and more personalized customer experience.”
Arun Kumar Parameswaran, MD - Sales and Distribution, Salesforce India, said “The pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation journey brands must take, ensuring they reach consumers where they are. We are delighted to be a part of this journey with Firefox as its technology provider, enabling the team to deliver a truly seamless customer experience.”
OZiva, one of India’s leading certified clean, plant-based nutrition and wellness brands, announced the launch of OZiva Kids Superfood Growth Protein Drink, a clean protein blend, fortified with 6 Ayurvedic herbs and 27 essential vitamins and minerals catering to the daily protein needs of kids aged 5 and above.
Protein is one of the most essential macronutrients required for growing children and studies show a growing gap in the daily intake of protein amongst Indian kids. The Superfood Growth Protein Mix helps complete this daily requirement by offering 30 percent protein along with other essential nutrients that support growth, boosted energy, strong bone health, eye health, and immunity in children. Available in two delicious flavors, creamy vanilla and rich chocolate, this health drink for kids can be bought on OZiva’s official website and other major e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.
Various research reports state that the protein consumption amongst children is very low in India and this number remains unchanged in the past 2 decades. A UNICEF report also highlights the decline in consumption of fruits and vegetables (calories from these). Such diets with incomplete nutrition can have a huge negative impact on the health and growth of children.
Aarti Gill, Co-founder, OZiva, said, “Protein has been one of the most neglected macronutrients in Indian diets, especially for vegetarians. And this is even more evident in kids. Many parents we have spoken to have raised their concerns over getting children to have the right nutrition to support growth and development. Unfortunately, many of them have limited understanding of the importance of protein in the growth of children.”
“OZiva Kids Superfood Growth Protein Drink is aimed at completing the daily protein requirement in children while providing added benefits of superfoods, vitamins, and minerals. This product aligns with the demand for fulfilling the desired nutrition levels of children after the wide acceptance of our superfood gummies. Like other ranges, we hope to receive a positive response from children and parents for Growth Protein Mix, which is an effective solution for muscle, bone, and overall growth and energy in children,” she added.
OZiva Kids Superfood Growth Protein contains 30 percent protein, higher than many health drinks available in the market dedicated to children. It is 100 percent clean, i.e devoid of harmful chemicals and artificial sweeteners like Maltodextrin. This drink is an ideal healthy, nutritious, and tasty option for fussy eaters that provide ample nutrition in a single-serve, aiding parents to accomplish their kids’ development milestones.
The clean protein blend helps growth of muscles, bones (and other vital organs) and also aids their repair and maintenance. It contains multivitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, B6, B12, Iron etc that strengthens immunity, improves eye health and overall digestive health.
Apart from this, OZiva Kids' range comprises other healthy options like Kids Superfood Brain Multi Gummies for enhanced brain health, Kids Superfood Immunity Multi Gummies for improved immunity, and Kids Superfood Vision Multi Gummies for healthy eyes and vision. The entire range is priced at Rs 499 and is available on its online platform, Amazon and Flipkart.
Ayouthveda, one of India’s most promising authentic ayurvedic brands, revamped its brand identity with a new logo, a new color radiant and tagline - 'Root se Care Karega' (taking care from the roots; finding a permanent solution).
The brand has redesigned its logo by encircling it with a ring that symbolizes solidarity and protection. A changed logo color from slate grey to violet gives a sense of refreshing color of goodness, inspiration, youthfulness, and a better tomorrow.
The new identity connects with the audience at large and has been securing acceptance from the customers across target groups. The ultimate goal of rebranding is to connect with the customers in the present times - a new normal, where many facets of the past do not hold good anymore. As the human race is going through two major adversities (pandemic and climate change), these events adversely affect people's well-being. Ayouthveda as a brand has withstood the impact of the pandemic with solidarity, humanity, and empathy and has redesigned the logo with the same belief.
Sanchit Sharma, Founder, and MD, Ayouthveda said, “We have chosen the magical color violet as our new brand color that represents vibrancy and youth. As violet signifies a higher, more evolved state spiritually and connects phenomenally with Ayurveda, this beautiful soft hue can awaken romantic and nostalgic feelings besides creating a sense of luxury among the customers.”
“We wish to create an aura of vibrancy around our range of authentic ayurvedic products of this color. It is a powerful combination of the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red that perfectly defines our core values. This brand color is chosen while keeping in view the visibility appeal of Ayouthveda in a crowded market space,” he added.
Presently, Ayouthveda is launching several branding programs to increase its offline store awareness and visibility. The brand has been displaying glow signages, flanges, and dealer signboards along with showing larger-than-life cutouts in its elegant and stylish stores. The objective of these exclusive brand stores is to offer unique experiences to countless customers.
Aspiring to build India's new-age supplement industry and taking a 360-degree grooming approach, The Man Company, India's leading homegrown men's grooming essential brand, has forayed into the wellness segment.
A first in the men's wellness category, the brand has launched a groundbreaking sub-brand, MINS, under which they are bringing an ingenious product called MinStrips. This newfound venture resonates perfectly with The Man Company's positioning of a modern and progressive institution.
MINS, a set of rapidly dissolvable tongue strips, focuses on uplifting the fast-paced lifestyle of modern-day gentlemen from all walks of life. In the post-pandemic era, inside-out grooming has become the primary concern of most people. Considering this, The Man Company has identified five major lifestyle hurdles of Gen Z and millennial gentlemen: sexual wellness, performance, hair and skin, sleep routine, and anxiety and stress, and MINS addresses all these issues effectively. The best part is MinStrips are certified by leading labs like GMP Laboratories, HACCP, ISO Certification, and FDA.
MINS can effortlessly become a part of men's daily schedule, no matter how hectic and busy. It ensures a better lifestyle regime that fulfills both inside and outside requirements with 'On the Go' convenience. Unlike most Vitamins that come in tablets or capsules needing water to gulp it down, MINS are exceptionally convenient. Whether in the office or metro, consumers can simply put these MinStrips on their tongue and get their daily Vitamin boost.
MinStrips contain ingredients like Ashwagandha, beneficial for mental and sexual well-being, Holy Basil which helps reduce anxiety and stress, Passion Flower to promote calming effects, Lemon Balm (melatonin) to take the edge off irregular sleep cycle, and Zembrin to elevate mood and enhance focus abilities. The strips are lab-tested and are 100 percent natural, vegan sugar and chemical-free with zero side effects and non-addictive aftermath. In fact, as compared to gummies, capsules, and tablets, MINS have 80 percent more active ingredients. It also has high absorption rate, is more accurate and gives a quick action attribute– giving it an edge above contemporaries.
Hitesh Dhingra, Founder, The Man Company, said, "Since inception, we have been on the quest to remain vocal about issues faced by men. The Man Company was founded to address the inside-out wellness needs of modern-day gentlemen. And while we are already offering numerous essential products that focus on men's external grooming factors with some portions of internal wellness, our latest invention MINS, solely works on boosting the Vitamin factor.”
“The MINS are specifically designed for liberal and upbeat men focusing on self-love and leading an elevated lifestyle. It is formulated in a dissolvable manner that is cool and hip for modern-day consumers. We are thrilled to be the first to foray into the unexplored men's wellness category with this innovative format and aspire to eradicate the stigma surrounding men's grooming and personal care and enable a better lifestyle, " he added.
It is pertinent to note that owing to fast-evolving consumer needs and purchasing habits, the global wellness market is witnessing an annual growth rate of 5 percent to 10 percent. And the Indian wellness market is witnessing a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent. In this context, The Man Company strives to introduce specialised products that can enhance the wellness and lifestyle of modern-age men and ensure grooming inside-out.
By foraying into the niche wellness category, The Man Company is further fortifying its goal to build a one-stop centre for all men's inside out grooming needs. The Man Company is eying a revenue of Rs 100 crore from the new category in two years.
Striving to explore the still untapped Indian Sleep Market, Sleepsia, a global M2C (manufacturer-to-consumer) brand offering pillows and sleep accessories, has raised $ 2 million impact funding from its parent company Agile Ventures, a high-octane venture capitalist.
With this recently secured funding, the brand will expand its customer base in Tier-II and Tier-III cities, reaching at least 2,50,000 additional consumers. Furthermore, as Sleepsia is already working to reduce time spent on the supply chain by strengthening its production capacities in India, the funding will help the brand meet its short-term and long-term goals.
As opposed to the United States market, valued at over $ 30 billion, the Indian sleep market is still unexplored. However, with new-age players and advancements in sleep technology, the Asia-Pacific market is growing tremendously. In fact, as per market estimates, the Asia-Pacific sleep market, which was valued at $ 11 billion in 2021, is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.9 percent, reaching $ 16.89 billion by 2026.
Leveraging this growth, Sleepsia aspires to emerge as the leading pillow provider in the sleep accessory market. The brand is working on fortifying its product portfolio with a new range of pregnancy pillows, couple pillows, baby pillows, baby memory foam pillows, car pillows, chair pillows, comforters, and high-quality microfiber bed sheets.
Dheeraj Kapoor, Director Sleepsia said, “On the back of our superior products, in-depth research, and futuristic technological advancements, we have had a progressive and profitable journey. However, even though Sleepsia generated profits in the first year of operation, our thirst to innovate exceptional products has not dimmed. We are continuously on the quest to develop unique, comfortable, and affordable sleep accessories for our customers. So far, we have served 200k happy customers. And now with the recent funding, we are planning to bring 250,000 more sleepers onboard.”
Apart from the aforementioned steps, Sleepsia is also gearing up to establish full-stack customer experience labs to innovate, develop and research high-end and avant-garde sleep products. Though the brand has already set a benchmark in the global sleep market, it will now be focusing firmly on the Indian territory.
Premium lifestyle brand Nicobar has partnered with India’s largest home-grown premium tea and superfoods brand, VAHDAM India to offer a limited-edition tea blend.
With the onset of Spring, Nicobar has chosen ‘Kashmir’ as the theme of February. Keeping in line with the same, VAHDAM India has created a custom product, Kashmiri Kahwa Green Tea straight from the valley of flowers, which is a blend of pure Green Tea and 100 percent natural spices. It pairs perfectly with Nicobar's new Kashmir-inspired homeware.
Both the brands recently announced the partnership on their social media channels. The product can be seen at all Nicobar stores across Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and will be exclusively available for sale at VAHDAM India’s website for delivery across India.
In a one-of-a-kind partnership wherein two brands, with a similar ethos from the beginning, have come together to bring home Kashmir.
Raul Rai, Co-founder, Nicobar said, “Partnering with VAHDAM®️ India felt intuitive and seamless: the launch of their Kashmiri Kahwa blend was perfectly timed with the launch of our new season, all inspired by Kashmir and its lush, natural beauty. We love VAHDAM's India-rooted values, their focus on both design and quality, and most of all, in their work sourcing directly from Indian tea estates.”
Bala Sarda, Founder, VAHDAM India said, "VAHDAM is super excited to partner with NICOBAR. Raul and Simran have built a fabulous lifestyle brand and our values at VAHDAM truly align with what they are building."
Nicobar, a popular lifestyle brand, has been named after a group of islands in the Indian ocean and showcases a whole new side of India in its beautiful products and innovative designs. The brand focuses on well-designed products that channel the modern Indian way of living, harmoniously blending form with functionality, creativity with culture.
Brands like VAHDAM India and Nicobar are coming together and redefining traditional prints and age-old ingredients in a modern and accessible format.
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) healthy snacking brand Happilo has raised $25 million from Motilal Oswal PE (MOPE). In February last year, the startup raised $12 million from A91 Partners
The company - which sells dry fruits, trail mixes. nut protein bars and muesli - will use the funds to grow its D2C channel and distribution network, it said in a statement.
Founded in 2016 by Vikas Nahar, Happilo competes with Nutty Gritties, Cornitos, and Rostaa in the nuts and dry fruits segment. The company said it is a "profitable, category leader' that has grown its business by 4x in the last 24 months
"Partnering with MOPE will help accelerate our growth plans and significantly scale the business from current levels" Nahar who is also its CEO has stated.
The investment will be used for significant product expansion across healthy snacking categories, acquisition of synergistic food brands, brand building, capacity expansion, and deepening its distribution infrastructure, he added.
"This will help us serve our customers better and help us achieve our Rs 2,000 crore revenue target in the next 4 years," Nahar further said.
Motilal Oswal raised a $320 million (Rs 2,300 crore) fund - IBEF III - in 2018. Happilo is its tenth investment, with almost 97 percent of its capital committed already.
"As the country increasingly moves online, we believe the digital channels will be a strong enabler for consumer businesses to scale at a rapid pace," said Vishal, MD and CEO, MOPE.
Happilo marks MOPE's entry into the tech-enabled consumer franchises that have the first-mover advantage in large unorganized categories, Tulsyan added. MOPE recently launched IBEF IV with a target corpus of Rs 4,500 crore ($600 million) and achieved its first close at Rs 2,660 crore in November 2021.
"Covid-19 has emphasized the importance of healthy eating and nutritious food in the mind of every customer. The MOPE investment will help the company accelerate its plans across brand, product, and distribution," said VT Bharadwai, Partner, A91 Partners.
Nykaa, India’s leading beauty and fashion destination, has launched Prakti exclusively on the Global Store.
Prakti is a new skincare brand that fuses the cultural richness and spirituality of India with the contemporary energy and technologies of the West to create a first-of-its-kind hybrid beauty brand, the company stated
Founded by Pritika Swarup, International Fashion Model, and Philanthropist, the brand reimagines traditional ingredients from Indian remedies and the Ayurvedic pharmacopeia, modernizing them through technological innovation to enhance the sensory experience and efficacy of every product.
As Prakti’s founder, Pritika believes Indian beauty deserves to be center stage and has approached the creation of this brand through a different lens. Prakti is a true representation of her own self and her roots – hybrids of mixed cultures, heritage, experiences, goals, and dreams. The products have been created based on today’s cultural and social reality.
Pritika is on a mission to inspire women to fearlessly pursue multidimensional, fulfilling lives and Prakti encourages its users not just to embrace and celebrate their unique identity and unique beauty, but also to go beyond & achieve their dreams and goals. Shop their bestsellers – PritiPolish and MahaMask.
Pritika Swarup, Founder of Prakti said “I am so happy to be launching Prakti in India with Nykaa on the Global Store. From the very beginning, my intent was to mirror our hybrid platform celebrating my dual heritage through every touchpoint of the brand, including its distribution. Nykaa was the natural choice to launch our brand in the country as it is innovative on every level providing customers access to experience beauty both personally and digitally. They are making it possible for consumers across the continent to be introduced to diverse brands from abroad.”
A one-of-a-kind, cross-border e-commerce platform, the Global Store is currently offered only on Nykaa’s mobile application and makes, otherwise hard-to-reach, international brands, easily accessible to Indian beauty buffs.
Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. (HCPL), the parent company of Mamaearth, and The Derma Co., and the fastest-growing house of brands for personal care, launched a new skincare brand – Ayuga, a brand crafted with the perfect balance of traditional, authentic, and honest ayurvedic recipes and face yoga rituals for modern millennial skincare. The brand has collaborated with yoga and wellness ambassador, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, to craft the brand ideology.
India’s rich cultural heritage especially around wellness and spirituality is not hidden from the world. Two of our Vedas have given life to sciences which are now seeing more than ever relevance and are being adopted globally. Rigveda gave birth to Yoga and Atharva Veda to Ayurveda, both of these being represented as a way of life than just processes or products.
Our culture has always believed that a balanced life is a key to satisfaction and happiness. Millennials lately have been experiencing a hectic imbalanced lifestyle that eventually takes a toll on their physical and mental health. Hence, it is imperative to prioritize and focus on what is important in their lives and restore balance as otherwise, it starts reflecting on one’s external features, too, like skin discoloration, hair fall, early aging, and more.
Ayugawas founded to restore balance in the lives of millennials through recipes and rituals. With the deep knowledge of 5,000 years of Ayurveda and yoga to solve these concerns and provide a new sense of balance to the world. The product has been crafted to ensure a perfect balance of our trusted, authentic, and honest Ayurvedic recipes and Face Yoga rituals to take care of skin and hair concerns, in collaboration with the help of India’s best Ayurveda and Face Yoga experts. The brand has launched its first skincare range with Kumkumadi – an authentic formulation taken from the text of ‘Astanga Hridyam’ and has reimagined it in modern skincare formats for millennials.
The brand partnered with the wellness icon of India, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, to propagate the brand ideology of 'restoring balance in life with rituals and recipes'. She is not only an icon but has made yoga synonymous with holistic wellness. She believes that yoga, not only, has helped her stay fit but has also helped her restore the balance between her inner and outer self. She has been strongly advocating making yoga a way of life.
Varun Alagh, Co-founder and CEO said, “Honasa Consumer was founded with the vision of building a ‘House of Brands’ that identify and solve millennials concerns with a digital-first approach. We actively research trends, understand consumer sentiments, and create brands that serve our consumers best. For the last 2 years, we have been trying to understand the mystery of why Ayurveda has not been able to capture the fancy of Millennials the way Yoga has.
That’s when we envisioned Ayuga which will bring the best of both worlds. At Ayuga we believe millennials need to discover these amazing effective sciences in a manner that makes them relevant. Crafted on the philosophy of restoring balance to life, we have collaborated with Shilpa Shetty Kundra as she redefined yoga and wellness in India, and inspired millions of people to make yoga a way of their life. With a unique and innovative brand and product proposition and expertise in direct-to-consumer and crafting playbooks for launching and scaling brands, we are confident that our consumers will find relevance and connect with the brand.”
Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, “Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd., said, “We are an organization built on strong consumer centricity and direct-to-consumer format. We are constantly speaking to consumers to get real-time feedback and information on their requirements and the kind of solutions they want. Hence, we constantly research millennials’ concerns to create brands and products that serve them.”
“Ayuga stands for the marriage of rituals of yoga and recipes of Ayurveda to deliver true secrets of skin, hair, and health to the world. We partnered with Ayurveda and Face Yoga experts to consult on the product line and face yoga rituals and reimagined them in modern formats for millennials for maximum efficacy. Our products are all inspired by Ayurveda formulations which have been existing for thousands of years and have been perfected by our Vaidyas,” she added.
“Our application rituals are perfected by Yogi’s strong understanding of the science of yoga and its ability to open and tighten skin pores where and when required. A combination of these leads to correct absorption and impact of the product leading to a multiplier effect on your body. Partnering with Shilpa Shetty Kundra for Ayuga extended the brand’s thought of restoring balance in life. We are confident that the partnership with Shilpa will help propagate our brand proposition across millennials,” Alagh shared.
Sleepyhead, the D2C home décor brand, has launched its furniture range featuring living room furniture like sofas, sofabed, recliners, and bedroom furniture like solid and engineered wood beds.
To cater to the growing furniture buying trend in the country, Sleepyhead has designed contemporary pieces that give room for personalization and comfort in living spaces.
The furniture range is designed to elevate your home lifestyle with its stunning aesthetics and make everyday living more comfortable. The brand’s uncompromising commitment to quality ensures that the products are made from high-quality materials and are long-lasting. The products are designed keeping customer needs at the centre and solves for new-age home living needs like work, study, leisure, relaxation and much more. Sleepyhead’s furniture range has the potential to transform any space into a comfy, trendy nook perfect for chilling. The furniture range comes in a DIY format and can be assembled without any tools with great ease.
Mathew Joseph, CEO, and Co-Founder said, “The success of our mattress segment inspired us to take a step forward and create comfortable, stylish, and ergonomic furniture that resonates with the lifestyle of our millennial and GenZ customers. The range aims to make everyday life easy and fun through creatively designed products. We are focusing on expanding our portfolio in the furniture category and planning for a 2x growth, this financial year. We have many more exciting products lined up in our furniture portfolio which will be launched soon”.
The Solid Wood Bed Models – Bed G and Bed V are designed to be compact to fit into any bedroom and are made with sturdy frames using Sheesham wood. Both the models are available in with and without storage variants allowing customers to choose as per their need.
Sleepyhead’s range of designer Sofas named Yolo and Bae are modern upholstered sofas with tufted cushioning wrapped in a high-quality outer fabric with a high thread count that keeps its shape. Ergonomically designed, they accommodate people of all heights and provide long-lasting comfort. Yolo and Bae are available in 3+2+1 modular sets allowing customers to choose based on their living room needs.
The Recliner RX5 with its ultra-plush cushioning and 3-reclining positions is perfect for gaming, watching Tv, or just kicking back with a book. The Sleepyhead Sofabed is an intelligently designed multipurpose product that can be a sofa to lounge and can convert to a double bed to sleep.
R for Rabbit is expanding its business portfolio by entering a new category after carving out a niche in the market with various categories of baby gear.
The company is launching its first baby diapers named Feather Diapers - the next-gen diaper that breathes and Feather Water wipes. Additionally, to ease the daily struggles of mothers or caretakers to dispose of stale diapers, the brand has also forayed into India’s first diaper bins by named Hygo Bin.
Pampers (P&G group), MamyPoko (Unicharm), Huggies (Kimberley Clark), Himalaya, and other organized competitors dominate the baby diaper industry. R for Rabbit has entered the premium baby diaper category with the objective of capturing market share through superior quality and performance while preserving baby hygiene and keeping comfortability in mind. It will offer the finest product to the market, transforming R for Rabbit into a one-stop destination for all the diapering needs.
Kunal Popat, Founder, R for Rabbit said, “R for Rabbit has always been at the forefront to create innovative, quality, and hygienic products for babies and kids. Entering the new segment of the baby diaper market, we are delighted to expand our business in the diapering segment with best-in-class quality and performance diapers which are mostly available only in Europe and USA. Our newly launched India’s most breathable diapers will cater to the pain points of the parents who are looking for solutions in terms of rashes, leakages, and comfort.”
R for Rabbit has a pan-India presence and provides a diverse range of baby products such as Baby Gear, Ride-Ons, Nursing, and Feeding Range, Activity and Bathing Toys, and many more. The company has created new products that are tailored to Indian preferences and needs, while still incorporating world-class safety standards and technology.
Global lifestyle direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand DailyObjects said it has raised $2 million in funding from early-stage venture capital firm Roots Ventures. The Gurugram-based company said it plans to use the fresh funding for building a stronger design team and customer experiences.
Founded by Pankaj Garg and Saurav Adlakha, DailyObjects works with more than 500 craftsmen catering to the everyday requirements of more than 2 million customers and users globally.
"As we look forward to scaling up the lifestyle products/accessories in India, we will be utilizing the incoming funding to strengthen the team that has constantly innovated ahead of the curve. We are delighted with the trust and faith that Roots Ventures showed in us and are focused on taking the brand to the next level,” Garg said.
The company claims to have logged a 300 percent surge in 2022 and is hopeful to touch Rs 100 crore revenue run rate in the next 9-12 months.
Japan Vyas, Managing Partner, Roots Ventures said, "With multiple product offerings under a single umbrella and its expansion across the world, we believe in the excitement that DailyObjects has brought in the D2C space. We are excited to be a part of their journey."
IDAM House Of Brands has brought on board Rajat Khullar as its group vice president, business.
With almost 10 years of experience across managing multiple brands in beauty and personal care, fashion, gaming, education, among others, Khullar specializes in advertising and building integrated digital strategies. Before joining IDAM House Of Brands, Rajat Khullar was an AGM at The Moms Co (The Good Glam Group).
Khullar’s deep understanding of business growth and scalability, media, and data technology are only a few things that make him the perfect fit for vice president, business.
Saahil Nayar, Co-founder, and COO, IDAM House Of Brands, said. “Rajat Khullar’s passion for his work mixed with his impeccable people skills will be invaluable to us, and we are all looking forward to reaching new heights together.”
In his new role at IDAM House Of Brands, Rajat Khullar will be looking at overall business in terms of scalability, marketplaces, and D2C both in India and internationally. He will be managing profit and loss, driving strategies to build funnels, and focusing on retention and expansion of the brand through technological advancements.
He will continue to drive business growth by using advanced business intelligence and data technology. Khullar has worked on brands like Forest Essentials, Kama Ayurveda, The Moms Co, The Man Company, Nicobar, Good Earth, Kapiva Ayurveda, Dominos to name but a few. With his creative outlook and lateral thinking skills, Rajat Khullar has world in various roles.
“With a focus on driving business across D2C and marketplaces, the idea is to scale the brand to newer heights and touch 250 crore by March 2023. We are expanding into categories and trying to reach all potential digital populations. The idea is to make IDAM House of Brands – a name in the everyday household,” Khullar said.
India’s new-age Beauty Brand RENEE Cosmetics has raised $ 10 million in Series A led by Mensa brands.
The round also witnessed participation from the existing investors including Equanimity and 9Unicorns. The brand has raised a total of $ 11 million till date, including the current round.
Founded by Aashka Goradia Goble along with Beardo co-Founders duo Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah, RENEE Cosmetics is a cruelty-free beauty brand offering a wide range of eye makeup, lip colours, skin serums, and highlighters. The brand has been launching back-to-back innovative products, and today boasts a portfolio of about 30 products across 3 categories. Ashutosh Valani, and Priyank Shah previously founded male grooming brand Beardo, which was acquired by FMCG major.
Priyank Shah, Co-founder, RENEE Cosmetics said, “We have achieved 400 percent growth this quarter and have set ambitious targets for the brand going forward. This year, we are going to focus on expanding our product catalog, marketing, and increasing our offline presence across the country.”
Ashutosh Valani, Co-founder, RENEE Cosmetics added “We are glad to be backed by such seasoned investors and partners. Our belief is that we can create a new-age cosmetics brand for the Indian consumer powered by innovation.”
Aashka Goradia Goble, Co-founder, RENEE Cosmetics “This fundraise will help us expand our expertise into creating and formulating groundbreaking products. We are excited to initiate this next phase of our journey.”
The Indian Cosmetics Market was valued at about $13 billion in FY20 and expected to touch $29 billion in FY26. At present, the beauty brand claims to clock ARR of Rs 60 crore and is all set to reach ARR of Rs 150 crore by the end of this fiscal year.
Ananth Narayanan, Founder, and CEO of Mensa Brands said, “RENEE Cosmetics has established a unique positioning and garnered customer love in the competitive beauty market. As the colour cosmetics segment rapidly grows over the next few years, I believe that RENEE Cosmetics will emerge as a category leader owing to its innovative products and strong founding team.”
RENEE Cosmetics plans on utilizing funds majorly in strengthening the brand presence and widening offline presence. Additionally, a part of the fund will also be leveraged for catalogue expansion and marketing budgets. RENEE currently selling products through all leading online channels and 500+ stores in the country.
Eské Paris, a Mumbai-based premium D2C lifestyle brand has raised a total of Rs 2.5 crore, in a seed funding round.
The key Investors in the current round include Fluid Ventures (D2C focused fund), Divij Bajaj (Founder, Power Gummies), and Ankit Gera (CEO and Co-founder, Junio).
The brand already saw participation from Varun Alagh (Founder, Mamaearth) and Arjun Vaidya (Founder, Dr. Vaidya) in a pre-seed round. The current fundraising will be utilized to expand the brand's product range, and accelerate the international launch.
Shivam Khanna, Founder of Eské Paris, said, “The future belongs to brands that have complete control over their supply chain, and we are here to spearhead this revolution in our category. Our C2M model will be the world's leanest and most efficient distribution model, and we plan to be the first in our category to achieve this. Our vision for Eské is extremely ambitious. Digital-first brands in our space have been able to scale to over $150 million in revenue within 5 years. I believe we have the depth, hunger, and commitment to improve this and build one of the largest global D2C brands of the decade."
“Furthermore, the pandemic has brought about some structural shifts in consumer choices and shopping behavior in India. With rising disposable incomes, the modern millennials are making a clear shift towards premium products, a trend that is set to accelerate in the coming decade,” added Khanna.
With the majority of sales coming from their website and a significant online presence across marketplaces, the brand has been able to successfully build a loyal community of customers. Gaining real-time insights, the brand has seen customer retention of over 30 percent in a span of just 9 months.
Amit Singal, General Partner, Eské Paris, Fluid Ventures, said, “The Asia Pacific region is currently the world’s largest market for leather and lifestyle products, with the highest revenue in this category. Eské stands out as an emerging premium lifestyle Indian brand known for its innovative designs, sustainable and environment-friendly leather and vegan products, and is on its way to becoming a category leader.”
The majority of the capital from the current fundraised will be utilized to build a global lifestyle brand with a community and content-centric approach. The brand has already been consistently profitable this year, with EBITA margins over 15 percent, and is looking to double its scale in the next couple of months.
Powerhouse performer and Arata’sCurlFriend, Taapsee Pannu endorses the newly launched ‘Advanced Curl Care Hair Styling Gel’.
A unique vegan recipe, thoughtfully curated to give a well-defined curl pattern and a soft, natural hold, the styling gel is part of the leading homegrown personal and hair care expert brand Arata’s most innovative launch yet.
Widely known as bold, fierce, and fearless – Taapsee embodies Arata’s curl care philosophy, flipping the narrative that censors curlies, the thought process that mandates curly hair to be “in place”. The Bollywood actor embraces her wild, beautiful, untamed curls and has smashed traditional beauty standards along her journey, inspiring others to do the same.
The newly launched Advanced Curl Care Hair Styling Gel is an innovative and aspirational product exclusively created for the curly-haired community. It aims to show curlies all around what frizzy, rebellious, spiraling curls are capable of bouncing into – when nourished with unadulterated, plant-powered love in the form of the all-natural abyssinian seed oil, argan oil, soy protein, and aloe vera.
Created to replace styling products containing synthetic parabens, this hair styling gel gives you sculpted, glorious curls with a healthy shine. It also reduces the risk of hair damage, hair loss, and premature greying, and is totally safe for daily use.
Around 60 percent of the world’s population has either curly or wavy hair and the lack of any Indian celebrity endorsements for this community is surprising. Not many Indian personal care brands have catered specifically to the needs of the curly-haired community.
“Conventional beauty standards are not only restrictive, but they also fail to elevate diversity. The very idea that beauty is defined by a set of adjectives – Straight Hair, Tall, Slender, Fair, etc. is harmful and excludes most of us who don’t fit the norm. It’s about time we let go of these traditional beauty standards that we’ve tried to live up to all this time. My curly hair is my identity and I proudly wear it as a crown (pun intended). For me, having this curly hair representation – whether on-screen or with the brands I choose to work with, is highly important. I personally vouch for the new Advanced Curl Care Hair Styling Gel that leaves my hair intensely moisturized and lusciously defined.” Taapsee Pannu
“We love how authentic Taapsee is and how she embraces her curls in their true form. We’re delighted to have her on board as Arata’s CurlFriend – someone who is the best advocate for our new Advanced Curl Care Hair Styling Gel, in the most befitting manner.” – Dhruv Madhok and Dhruv Bhasin, Founders – Arata.
Created to bring the bar experience at home, Jimmy’s Cocktails debuted with four non-alcoholic mixers in 2019 and added another two in 2021.
The products are designed to be consumed mixed with a spirit or straight up as a mocktail. In a short time, the brand has revolutionized at-home cocktail consumption making it convenient and affordable keeping flavor craftmanship at the helm of it.
One of the fastest-growing brands in the cocktail mixer category, Jimmy’s Cocktails is witnessing an MoM revenue growth of 180 percent and is on track to cross $3 million in revenue FY’22. With an omnichannel presence, the brand is visible across all major e-commerce platforms and has an offline presence across 50 cities and 5,000 retail outlets, while the brand’s own D2C platform enables discovery and access to consumers across 400+ cities across the country.
The growth is a testament to Jimmy’s Cocktails’ focused approach towards catering to the changing needs of a mass-premium consumer. With a consumer focus approach at the center of the business, the team at Jimmy’s believes flavor craftmanship is core to their business, especially with Yangdup Lama, renowned mixologist and owner of Delhi-based Sidecar that features in World’s 50 Best Bars.
Along with the product itself, the team’s dynamic approach to the business saw, given the uncertain times currently, the brand leveraging the ‘home-tainment’ moment of consumption and created limited-edition packs that celebrated the spirit of at-home-experiences to further drive success.
In the months preceding the current situation, the brand took part in music festivals in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai, where Jimmy’s Cocktails were served to consumers with spirits. The brand is also investing in the last mile of the consumer journey through in-store visibility across offline retail stores for better brand visibility. It will add up to eight more SKUs in FY2022-23 and is working on several collaborative launches with major spirits conglomerates.
To further fuel the business momentum, Jimmy’s Cocktails has appointed industry veterans - Vasudha Dawar as the Head of D2C Business and Anish Arora as the Head of Marketing.
A passionate media and marketing specialist, Dawar brings to the table a deep understanding and experience in business management, media management, planning, and buying. She comes with a wealth of experience across diverse verticals such as technology, automobiles, consumer durables, healthcare, entertainment, and media. As the Head of the D2C Business at Jimmy’s Cocktails, she will be overseeing the e-commerce side of the business, marketing strategy, and building a strong share of voice for the brand.
Vasudha Dawar, Head, D2C Business, Radiohead Brands - Jimmy’s Cocktails, said, “I am delighted to take on the role of Head, D2C Business at Jimmy’s Cocktails, building on the strong vision for the brand -to be a market leader in the emerging premium beverage segment in India. With the D2C wave hitting the retail sector and contributing to the growth of the e-commerce segment, I feel that Jimmy’s Cocktails is in an ideal space fueled by the growing demand for gourmet-style cocktails at home.”
Newly appointed Head of Marketing at Jimmy's Cocktails, Anish Arora is a marketing professional with prior experience in leading and implementing marketing strategies for luxury and premium brands. With a proven understanding of planning and implementation of omnichannel integrated brand and marketing campaigns across diverse verticals such as automobiles and alco-bev, he will be responsible for directing the marketing function and defining the short-term and long-term strategies for the brand.
Anish Arora, Head, Marketing, Radiohead Brands - Jimmy’s Cocktails, said, “I am ecstatic to be a part of Jimmy’s Cocktails and work towards the vision of building a global brand. The pandemic has revolutionized the at-home drinking experience and with the industry witnessing exponential growth, it is the right time to catalyze our ambition of becoming the leading premium beverage brand in the market.”
Ankur Bhatia, Founder, Radiohead Brands - Jimmy’s Cocktails, said, “We are at a pivotal point in our growth story, and we believe that communication is one of the most important factors in building brand stickiness. Vasudha and Anish are powerhouses of great strategy and creativity and are slated to take the brand to new heights.”
Licious, India’s first D2C unicorn, announced the addition of two stalwarts of India Inc to their leadership team. Licious welcomed Vidyanand Krishnan as Chief Customer Officer and Meeta Aggarwal as Chief Financial Officer. In their respective roles, both leaders will be instrumental in furthering the ambitious growth journey that Licious has been.
A seasoned leader, Vidyanand Krishnan will lead the customer agenda and play a strategic role in driving customer retention and loyalty for Licious. With previous roles at Dunzo, Walmart, Cognizant, and Accenture, Vidyanand brings valuable experience in retail and product management to his new role.
An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, he was the business lead at Walmart, responsible for building express pickup and delivery for the online grocery business. After spending 6+ years at Walmart, he moved to Bengaluru in 2020 to join Dunzo where he led the customer experience functions during the company's transition into a Q-Commerce retailer.
An expert in her own rights, Meeta Aggarwal, will focus on driving profitable and sustainable growth, cost efficiencies, effective working capital management and strong governance/ controls for Licious. She brings with her rich experience of 18+ yrs across financial planning, controllership, business partnering, performance management, and corporate governance. Having worked across geographies and cultures, she is adept at developing collaborative partnerships and delivering results on complex cross-functional projects.
An ardent leader, she is also passionate about building and leading high-performance teams. Prior to joining Licious, she was the Chief Financial Officer - India and Southeast Asia at Anheuser Busch-InBev India. She has worked across other prestigious organizations like Telenor and HCL. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary, and an alumnus of FORE School of Management.
Abhay Hanjura and Vivek Gupta, Co-Founders, Licious, said, “Throughout our 6 years journey we have been supported by some of the best and brightest from India Inc. Not only have they contributed immensely to the growth of the company, but also to our knowledge and understanding of the complex business ecosystem that we operate in. With Vidyanandand Meeta, we aim at taking that journey further ahead.”
READ MORE: Licious Appoints Vakul Agarwal as VP-Growth
“The unprecedented growth that we have witnessed over the last 2 years is only an indication of how the future looks like at Licious. As we continue to propel ahead, we will rely on our able leadership team to aid progressive decision making, unlock newer frontiers for growth and work with all Licians to spread the love for meat! We are thrilled to welcome Vidyanand and Meeta on board and wish them the very best,” they added.
Vidyanand Krishnan, Chief Customer Officer, Licious, stated, “I’m excited to join the fantastic team at Licious at such a pivotal moment in this remarkable journey of delivering the best-in-class meat experience to Indian consumers. As a customer-first brand, Licious has always put the customer’s needs at the heart of every experience. I look forward to creating more and better ways to connect with the brand’s ever-growing, loyal customer base.”
Meeta Aggarwal, Chief Financial Officer, Licious, stated, “I am delighted to be part of the elite league of Licians! As someone who has been part of the growth story at matured organizations, it is fascinating to see the agility and momentum that Licious exhibits. Licious presents a unique opportunity to build for the future while working on resurrecting an age-old industry. I am excited, to say the least, and look forward to being part of the Licious journey.”
Customer retention and loyalty continue to witness a direct impact on Licious’ business, consistently winning a repeat order rate of 90 percent. Last year, Licious got a billion-dollar valuation, making it the first D2C unicorn in the country.
Rage Coffee, the Delhi-based FMCG company that manufactures, markets, and distributes innovative packaged coffee products is now ready to penetrate into the manifolds of the blockchain bazaar by minting 10 Rage Coffee branded NFTs of a certain value.
These NFTs will be issued to 10 lucky winners as a part of their valentine’s month marketing campaign. The campaign will be kicked off with a launch video on NFTs with the theme being centered around exploring the ideas of coffee and love from Feb 10 to Feb 19.
Being a caffeine innovation brand, Rage Coffee has always been associated with the curation of product range which supersedes the segment in innovation and originality; it has always been ahead of the conventional curve. The company in the past had capitalized on the buzz of the crypto coins, now the brand is heading towards the NFT space, this time with actual Rage exclusive NFT’s.
This valentine’s month marketing campaign by Rage would also engender an infill of NFT owners in India which is significantly low. With the debut of Rage Coffee in the blockchain matrix, it will also bring a lot of Ragers under the umbrella of this marvelous technology.
Bharat Sethi, Founder, and CEO of Rage Coffee said, “A clairvoyant attitude is often the key to cogitation and execution of something which is avant-garde in its segment. Being visionaries in our segment, we capitalized on the crypto craze and now we are happy to make some noise by issuing NFTs which are the hottest thing in the market right now.”
“As always Rage Coffee will always stay true and relevant to the misfits and trendsetters, by entering into the blockchain matrix, we would have an opportunity to interact with Ragers and dominate the D2C space by creating conversations around one of the popular digital trends at the moment,” he added.
Some leading social media influencers like Financial Literate, HustleRani, Marketing Mind, Ads With Benefits, Under25 News, Raj Abhisar, and Saif - The Sustainability Guy will cascade the campaign details on some of the most popular social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn.
Wakao Foods, a jackfruit-based vegan food brand has become India’s first startup to be backed by all three female sharks on Shark Tank India.
The brand received funding of Rs 75 lakh for 21 percent equity from SUGAR Cosmetics, MamaEarth, and Emcure Pharmaceuticals in the 1st edition of Shark Tank India.
Founded by Sairaj Dhond, Wakao Foods is a sustainable brand that aims at bringing plant-based ‘Ready to Cook’ and ‘Ready to Eat’ products to the Indian market. Wakao’s current offering of jackfruit meat is ethically sourced and hand-picked from farms and hygienically manufactured. The jackfruit has been an obvious choice of product for its versatility, meat-like texture, and nutritive value (high in fiber, low in calories and fats). All Wakao products have no preservatives with a shelf life of 1 year and require no refrigeration.
Impressed by the brand, the pitch, and its offering, Wakao Foods received funding from Vineeta Singh, CEO and Co-founder, SUGAR Cosmetics, Namita Thapar, Executive Director, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, and Ghazal Alagh, Founder, Mamaearth.
Sairaj Dhond, Founder, Wakao Foods says, “As someone who grew up watching Shark Tank, coming on this globally acclaimed platform and getting funded has been a great milestone for me and my team. This further solidifies our belief and efforts to introduce innovative and disruptive F&B product categories that will change how consumers perceive plant-based meat. We are looking forward to aggressively expanding our footprint in the next few months and acquiring a bigger clientele in the industry.”
For Wakao Foods, the sharks that have come along on this journey with them to create the perfect amalgamation, bringing in key expertise that will drive and expand the business multi-folds. Emcure Pharmaceuticals, currently present in 70 countries will open doors for the brand to export its products across the world.
For a D2C brand like Wakao Foods that is aiming to create offline properties in the future, India’s top D2C and E-commerce players, Mamaearth and Sugar Cosmetics are the perfect role models as they guide the brand to expand and scale its business and bring in a new and disruptive approach to the pulsating plant-based meat market with a sustainable focus.
GlobalBees, a leading roll-up e-commerce company, announced its latest investment in fitness equipment and accessories brand, Reach. The company is GlobalBees’s second investment in the sports category.
Sumeet Ubhrani and Sonal Menghani founded Reach in 2013 as a fitness equipment company that aimed to promote exercise at home by renting out equipment and other accessories. Today, the company sells workout equipment, such as weights and dumbbells, commercial gym equipment, leg massagers, and other accessories.
Within a couple of years, Reach has gained a huge market share across the online marketplaces and has created a strong base of over 5 lakh customers across India. The brand enjoys the biggest network of after-sales service technicians and is focused on building products at an affordable price range for every target product category.
The announcement comes at a time when the Indian sports and fitness goods market reached a valuation of $3,994.8 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9 percent during 2022-2027.
Nitin Agarwal, CEO, GlobalBees, said, “There has been an increased use of smart machines and workout equipment as people’s outlook towards health and fitness has changed considerably since the COVID-19 outbreak. Reach has a strong growth trajectory, and we are confident to further establish them as a top-selling fitness brand. We plan to collaborate closely with the co-founders to make fitness more accessible, enjoyable, and convenient.”
Sumeet Ubhrani and Sonal Menghani, Co-founders, Reach, said, “We are excited to partner with GlobalBees on our journey to create India’s top fitness company with a customer-first approach. GlobalBees is a recognized name in building digital-first brands. With their expertise in scaling brands, we’ll be closer to our vision to provide a world-class fitness experience to our customers while focusing on product innovation.”
GlobalBees now has twelve brands in its portfolio, including The Better Home, andMe, Prolixr, Absorbia, Yellow Chimes, HealthyHey, Rey Naturals, Intellilens, The Butternut Company, Mush, and Strauss. The company now has a well-rounded portfolio across homecare, beauty, and personal care, nutrition and health, fashion jewelry, intelligent eyewear, and sports and fitness categories.
In the next three years, GlobalBees is looking forward to investing in 100+ brands across verticals, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), sports, home organization, and lifestyle.
Mamaearth, the fastest growing FMCG brand in India, introduced celebrated actor and youth icon, Samantha Ruth Prabhu as the new face of the brand.
She will be endorsing skincare products while advocating choosing the goodness of natural ingredients. Through this partnership, Mamaearth intends to anchor its presence in the southern market, along with strengthening its position nationally.
Mamaearth is a purpose-driven brand for millennials who believe in choosing goodness for themselves and the environment. Mamaearth believes that goodness starts with the small choices each of us makes every day. The brand continues to live up to this belief by using only the best of nature and no toxins or harmful chemicals in their products.
They are animal cruelty-free, plastic positive, and have launched the Plant Goodness promise, as well. As part of this, the brand links every order made on their website to a tree they plant and is set to plant 10 lakh+ trees by 2025.
Samantha Prahu is known for her strong, independent persona and has touched millions of hearts with her positivity and fervor towards life. Her grace and goodness are infectious and is known to speak her mind. Hence, she is the true embodiment of ‘Goodness Inside’.
Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Mamaearth, said, "Being a brand for millennials and driven by the purpose of goodness, we wish to partner with people who resonate with our philosophy of ‘Goodness Inside’. Samantha represents the ideal youth, driven by ideals and purpose, and we strongly feel she will be able to support our purpose across India, especially the south Indian markets. "
Zama Organics, an organic and clean eating brand has raised an undisclosed amount as part of its Pre-Series A round of funding.
The round was led by marquee angel investors like Ajay Kaushal (BillDesk), Arjun Lamba (Guardian Advisors), Jay Mehta (Mehta Group) among others.
With the current capital raised, the company plans to focus on further building the brand, expanding its geographical footprint, and strengthening its network along with technological implementation and hiring.
Founded by Shriya Naheta Wadhwa, Zama Organics focuses on building a farm-to-table supply chain for organic and natural vegetables, fruits, groceries, and artisanal food items. Through a widespread network of farmers and artisans, Zama has gained recognition for being a trusted and authentic food brand. Over the last 12 months, the brand has exhibited strong growth metrics that speak of its capability as an emerging player.
With impact at its core, Zama’s vision is to spearhead a collaborative organic movement for Indian farmers, artisans, and consumers and create a healthier tomorrow by raising awareness of the benefits of clean produce.
Shriya Naheta Wadhwa, Founder, Zama Organics said, “Zama Organics aims to make healthier and cleaner food products widely available to Indian households. With the current round of funding, we plan to take this vision further and thus build a brand that is synonymous with authentic produce celebrating India’s diverse agricultural landscape. The goal is to expand our reach beyond the current regions through a robust supply chain network and strengthen our community of farmers, thus building a strong presence in the industry.”
Zama Organics has a large network of farmers and artisans PAN India and is currently fully operational in Mumbai, with aims to expand to Bangalore, Delhi, and Pune among other cities.
Life and Pursuits, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) Ayurveda Beauty brand, has raised $5,00,000 from angel investors.
The homegrown brand operating in the niche of certified organic and authentic Ayurveda caters to the increasing demand for natural and safer products across the globe.
The brand’s first angel round saw participation from prominent angel syndicates Supermorpheus (led by Sameer Guglani) and Eagle10 Ventures (led by Prashant Pansare) apart from leading angel individuals such as Pankaj Agrawal (IndiaMart promoter family), Madhup Agrawal (IndiaMart CXO), Tarun Matta (Founder iimjobs.com, acquired by Naukri.com) and Ankur Singla (Founder Tapzo, acquired by Amazon Pay). The round also included a few international investments.
The brand was founded by Mudit Consul (an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Indian Institute of Management) along with his wife, Aditi Consul in 2016. Manshu Aneja (an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati) and Mani Agrawal are the other co-founders.
Mudit Consul, Founder of Life and Pursuits said, “Life and Pursuits is in an exciting phase of growth with increasing demand across the globe and high repeat transactions. With this round, we will be growing our products range and enhance global footprint by launching D2C in the key markets of the US, UK, and EU. Our USP has been the high trust and authenticity of our products and we will be investing in building this further to become a market leader for Organic Ayurveda beauty and wellness products.”
Sameer Guglani of Supermorpheus stated, "When we initially interacted with Mudit and Life and Pursuits, what stood out for us was the deep knowledge and commitment along with the long-term orientation and vision of the team. We believe that there is a massive opportunity in the global market for Indian products that are created with attention to quality and design."
Prashant Pansare of Eagle10 Ventures said, “The global demand for natural and organic beauty products is soaring, Eagle10 Ventures is excited to join hands with Mudit and team to build a highly trustworthy, authentic organic product brand globally.”
Personal care and hair removal brand, Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) has raised Rs 50 crore from Gulf Islamic Investments (GII), as a follow-on to its Rs 160 crore Series C led by Malabar.
This takes the round size to Rs 210 crore. The round comes 11 months after the company raised Rs 45 crore from Reckitt, a global FMCG giant in the health, hygiene, and nutrition space. The company is uniquely capitalized with two global, strategic giants – Colgate Palmolive and Reckitt on their cap table.
Pankaj Gupta and Mohammed Alhassan, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) said, “We love the company’s focus on hair removal and personal care as a category. It is a deep market, there is a first-mover advantage and the company has demonstrated strengths in building innovative products. We are thrilled to partner with Shantanu and the team.”
Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) plans to scale operations to Rs 500 crore top line with an omnichannel presence in the next two years and will deploy the funds towards expanding its portfolio of personal care and hair removal products. GII will also be strategically positioned to provide access to GCC markets in addition to the already existing domestic market expertise the company has attained.
Launched in 2016, BSC started as a premium, D2C, experiential shaving regimen brand and has since expanded into diverse hair removal categories. In 2020, BSC forayed into women’s hair removal with their brand ‘Bombay Shaving Company – Women’ which now accounts for nearly 25 percent of the total business. BSC has a rich portfolio of over 100 SKUs – comprising hair removal products for both men and women. The list includes shaving regimens, trimmers, beard products, razors for women, wax strips, hair removal creams, and other personal care products and accessories. BSC has served over 3 million customers across channels in the six years of its existence. With a finger on the pulse of customers, the brand is seen to be conscious, sensitive, and responsible.
Shantanu Deshpande, Founder CEO of BSC said, “We are delighted to have GII join our cap table. We are singularly focused on building a brand that owns hair removal and personal care. As we scale from Rs 150 crore to Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore, we needed an investor group that could guide us on building an IPO-able company. Interactions with GII were always focused on the right things – customer, product experience, and team quality.”
This series C is the 6th round of financing for the company that counts Reckitt, Colgate Palmolive, Sixth Sense Venture Partners, and industry powerlifters (including former vice-chairman of TCS S Ramadorai and 16 senior partners from McKinsey and Company) as investors.
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) lifestyle brand Zouk said it aims to garner Rs 100 crore annual revenue run rate by FY23 as it looks to expand product range and strengthen international operations across the US and the Middle East.
Founded by Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, Zouk makes laptop bags, tote handbags slings, and chain wallets using 'vegan leather'. Its products are made by local artisans at the companies in house facility in Mumbai.
Pradeep Krishnakumar, Co-founder and COO, Zouk said, "We wanted to offer products that were stylish and functional, and had the essence of Indian handicraft. We've moved from being around 10,000 customers to 60,000-plus customers and we hit the one lakh mark in December thanks to the massive support from our customer base."
Zouk's customer base is expanding at a strong pace and the company aims to garner Rs 100 crore annual revenue run rate by FY23, he added.
Revenue run rate is a method of projecting upcoming revenue over a longer period of time based on previously earned revenue. Krishnakumar, however, did not comment on current revenue numbers.
In July last year, Zouk had raised Rs 11.75 crore (US$ 1.5 million) in pre-series A funding round, led by Stellaris Venture Partners, along with participation by the founders of Wow Skin Science and existing investor Titan Capital.
Talking about the company's expansion plans, Krishnakumar said Zouk will be pushing its products in international markets by FY23.
"We've done a few bespoke orders, these are customers or friends of customers who suggested. So we've already shipped a few orders internationally. By FY23, we will be pushing our products in the international markets, it will be primarily online-driven, " he said.
The executive added that in terms of geographies, the company will focus on markets like the US, Canada, and the Middle East. Krishnakumar said the offline expansion is also on the cards for the brand.
"Zouk is also looking at expanding product range from wallets and handbags. While we can't speak of the segments right now, the products will have elements of functionality and Indian designs. There are over 200 artisans associated with making Zouk's products and we are looking at upskilling 10,000 more in the future as the demand for the products Scale-up " he stated.
"The company started its journey offline via 50-plus exhibitions and will look at multiple formats like partnering with large offline brands, pop-up stores in malls, etc before a full-fledged offline store launch," he added.
New investors include founders of well-known brands like Epigamia (Rahul Jain and Uday Thakker), Renee Cosmetics, Beardo (Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah), Dr. Vaidya's (Arjun Vaidya; India Lead @Verlinvest), NOTO (Varun Sheth), and financial services group Ashika, among other angels.
In an official statement, the Delhi-based startup said it plans to use these funds to scale operations into South India, accelerate hiring, and build a robust tech platform.
ZFW helps D2C brands expand and fulfill orders in 30 minutes, 2 hours, and the same day using its network of tech-enabled dark stores across India. The startup, founded in 2020 by F&B entrepreneur Madhav Kasturia, currently services 20,000+ orders a month and is on track to achieve 50,000+ by end of this quarter.
Madhav Kasturia, Founder ZFW said, “COVID rapidly accelerated the emerging trend of direct orders for a huge segment of the e-commerce space. We’re building a strong dark store network for D2C brands who will ride this wave. ZFW is on track to grow 10X by the end of 2022.”
Rahul Jain, Founder of Epigamia, said, “In Madhav and team, we saw deep passion and courage to address inefficiencies in the increasingly competitive D2C market. A model that enables brands to reach more customers in the fastest possible time while solving for customer experiences, high RTOs, and profitability- is well-poised to capitalize on India's $100+ billion D2C Opportunity by 2025. We're delighted to partner with them in their next phase of growth.”
Arjun Vaidya, Founder, Dr. Vaidya’s, and India Lead, Verlinvest said, “From the time I first met Madhav in March ’21, I was very excited about ZFW. D2C enablement is going to be a massive space and ZFW solves a real problem of quick fulfillment for brands using unutilized spaces. It’s a clever business model that makes sense and I’m excited to see how it grows.”
Ashutosh Valani, Founder of Renee Cosmetics and Beardo (acq. by FMCG giant Marico) said, “ZFWis catering to a large and untapped opportunity of Quick D2C service in India with a clear path to scale to 50 cities in the next 2 years. Thrilled to seeso many consumer brands across new-age categories embrace their model.”
As part of its next phase, ZFW aims to launch 500+ dark stores across all major metro and mini-metro markets by the end of 2022.
Sleepy Owl, a Delhi-based D2C company in the innovative coffee space, announced the appointment of Aseem Sood as Vice President of Sales.
Sood brings with him over 15 years of diverse leadership experience across business and customer development, sales transformation, capability building, strategy formulation and implementation, and people leadership.
At Sleepy Owl, he will be responsible for leading the brand’s sales division with a focus on driving customer and business growth and increasing the company’s foothold across India. He will also be responsible for setting up the demand creation and fulfillment eco-system along with building the team to drive and deliver the ambition for the coming phase of growth.
Ajai Thandi, Co-founder, Sleepy Owl Coffee said, “We are delighted to welcome Aseem Sood to Sleepy Owl. Since its inception, our vision has been to disrupt the at-home coffee industry in India, and give our patrons the best quality coffee in a convenient format and we are very excited to have Sood join us in our growth journey. Given his expertise in sales and a proven track record of breakthrough growth for a business across the offline channels for some of the most respected and popular global and Indian brands, I am confident that we will further strengthen our reach and help us in our vision of making India a country of coffee lovers.”
In 2021, Sleepy Owl raised $6.5 million in Series A funding led by both existing investors - DSG Consumer Partners and Rukam Capital, which is being used to expand to new markets, solidify the core team and build a robust distribution network. Sood’s appointment aligns with the brand’s plan of solidifying the core leadership team.
READ MORE: Coffee Brand, Sleepy Owl Launches Premium Instant Coffee
Aseem Sood, Vice President Sales, Sleepy Owl said, “With the changing market dynamics and ever-evolving consumer needs, Sleepy Owl continues to innovate to define how India brews up to enjoy coffee as a product and a category and I am excited to be a part of their vision of making India a coffee-loving nation. I hope to further transform the business with a refreshed strategic vision that embodies multi-channel strategies. My vision for Sleepy Owl is to make the products more relevant and more accessible for consumers in India. The emphasis would be on driving a coherent demand and distribution strategy across channels/ geographies where consumers and shoppers engage with our brand.”
An experienced leader, Sood brings with him a deep understanding of the consumer goods segment of the Indian market and a proven track record of business and customer development along with strategy formulation and implementation that evolve organizations into revenue generators.
An MBA in Marketing from Xavier Institute of Management - Bhubaneswar, prior to this appointment, Sood headed Modern Trade for Mars Wrigley and also drove the strategic reinvention across import business and supply and supply chain. In his tenure of 8 years, he played a key role in driving sizable shares in the chocolate, gums, and mints category in the Modern Trade Channel at Mars Wrigley. He started his career with Cavinkare Pvt Ltd in 2005 and has also been associated with Marico Ltd. where he served as the Regional Sales Head.
If there is one industry that has seen significant growth and massive development during the pandemic, it is the direct-to-consumer (D2C) sector, especially in 2021.
With this rise in the D2C sector, the world is seeing more capital available for entrepreneurs to build digital-first consumer brands, and against this backdrop; Fluid Ventures has emerged as one of the venture capital funds, which is focused on investing in D2C startups.
After investing in 3 startups since its launch six months ago, it has set a target of investing Rs 25 crore on D2C startups at a pre-Series A stage in 2022; this includes 4 companies before March 2022 with a ticket size of up to Rs 2 crore as the first cheque and participating in the follow on rounds with additional capital.
Fluid Ventures is known to invest in early-stage D2C startups that clock sales of, at least, Rs 50 lakh per month as a part of their investment criteria. “The fund is on a mission to invest in visionary entrepreneurs that are creating digital-first and world-class consumer brands,” says Amit Singal, General Partner, Fluid Ventures.
“What’s interesting is that 2021 has been a historic year for D2C; consumer brands like Licious and Mamaearth entering the unicorn club, validating our D2C ideology,” he adds.
Within six months, Fluid Ventures has invested in a Jaipur-based leading digital retailer of fabrics, Fabriclore as their debut investment, followed by, Bangalore based sustainable safe wooden toys brand Shumee Toys and Wallmantra, Delhi NCR based Wall Decor and home furnishing company marking as the third investment from the fund.
According to Tracxn, a market intelligence company, the D2C market is on its way to crossing $100 billion by 2025 as nearly 800 D2C startups have emerged in the Indian market in the last couple of years and is expected to increase exponentially. The industry estimates the growth to be 10-15 times more in 2022, however it does not end here. The growth is expected to continue at 9-10 percent in 2023 and 10-11 percent in 2024.
Dhianu Das, General Partner, Fluid Ventures, is not surprised with the rapid growth of the D2C’s growth and its future.
He says, “With the lifestyle has taken a complete turn in a post-COVID world, it has accelerated the growth of digitization. It’s changed the way we communicate, socialize, shop, and even, seek entertainment. And this form has connected with the young generation in a big way. Given these factors, D2C is here to stay.”
Fluid Ventures is not only on a mission to invest in visionary founders but also those who are bringing change in consumer buying behavior by leveraging content and a community-led approach. So, get set to hear more from this venture capital fund in 2022.
The Derma Co., one of the leading active-based skincare brands, celebrated two milestones this January- its 2nd anniversary and Rs 100 crore run rate.
Designed by dermatologists, The Derma Co. is a skincare brand created using effective science-based ingredients targeted to heal skin concerns like acne, pigmentation, open pores, and more. Started as a Direct-to-Consumer channel brand, now retails across leading marketplaces such as Nykaa, Amazon, and Flipkart.
The Derma Co. encourages its consumers to live life without filters and believes in treating skin concerns from within to reveal their true-beautiful-selves. Over the last 2 years, the brand has been able to foster and nurture relationships with over 1 million consumers through their journey to achieving #Filterfree skin.
As consumers evolve and learn more about ingredients, efficacy, and clinical results, they are open to experimenting with skincare to solve their skin woes. The Derma Co. has been able to create the perfect alchemy of modern science with proven clinical results. Consumers are more aware than ever and understand that consumers need to know about ingredients, benefits, and results, The Derma Co. honestly mentions the name and percentage of the key ingredient in the front of the packaging. The brand also mentions the other important ingredients on the packaging ensuring transparency and supporting the claims of efficacy.
Designed by dermatologists using hardworking science-based ingredients, The Derma Co. has been able to create some exceptional products, in first-of-its-kind formulations. The brand created a 15 percent Niacinamide serum, becoming the first to create a stable formulation at such a high percentage. From crafting 3 formats of retinoids to serve all skin types to creating 2 percent Kojic Acid formulation in both cream and serum formats, the brand has always kept the changing consumer demands at the core and provided solutions with ingredients that solve millennial skincare concerns.
The brand is constantly exploring ingredients and creating formulations to give consumers more options to choose basis their skin type and concern. Owing to this, the brand has become a one-stop destination that provides solutions targeted at solving millennial skin concerns.
Ghazal Alagh, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Honasa Consumer Private Limited said, “It is overwhelming to see where we have reached in 2 years. The Derma Co. is a brand that came to life from my personal experience. I learned from a dermatologist who introduced me to the world of active ingredients as an effective solution to stubborn skin concerns.”
“We are on a quest to provide effective skincare solutions with potent ingredients like Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid, Kojic Acid, and others to create a repertoire of solutions to get that #FilterFreeSkin. As we celebrate our second anniversary, we will continue our quest to create innovative products with science-based solutions that are safe and effective. We are committed to serving our consumers with the best skin care solutions and hope they continue supporting us through our journey,” he added.
With a firm belief in transparency, The Derma Co. discloses the percentage of potent ingredients on the front of the packaging itself; while offering products that are cruelty-free, and completely safe. As the brand celebrates #2YearsOfFilterFreeSkin, they are on a constant quest to innovate their product portfolio and committed to making #FilterFreeSkin a way of life. The brand believes that everyone should be able to live life without filters by treating skin concerns from within and revealing the beautiful skin they are born in.
Plum India’s first 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free beauty and personal care brand, announced that it has signed actress Mithila Palkar as its brand ambassador.
Being one of the most vivacious and spirited actresses, Mithila exemplifies the girl-next-door image and will appear in key Plum campaigns across digital media. This will be the first time that Plum is getting a brand ambassador on board.
One of the fastest-growing BPC brands in the online space, Plum has carved a mark for itself in the retail market as well. Not only is it among the top brands on key e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, and Purplle, but the brand also is today available in over 250 towns and cities in India, through 900+ assisted retail outlets, and over 10,000 unassisted outlets growing month-on-month. Recently, the brand also won the Best Vegan Cosmetics award at the PETA India’s Vegan Fashion Awards.
Starting her acting career in 2014, Mithila is known for the wide variety of roles that she has portrayed in movies and web series such as Chopsticks (A Netflix Original film), and Karwaan. She rose to fame after her roles in the popular web series Little Things and Girl in the City. She is also a popular singer. In 2016, a YouTube video featuring her performing the popular Marathi song Hi Chal Turu Turu (sung originally by Jaywant Kulkarni) in the cup song style went viral with more than 6 million views.
Shankar Prasad, CEO, and founder at Plum said, “Plum is a youthful brand that resonates with the confident woman of today. So, onboarding a millennial youth icon like Mithila Palkar seemed to be a natural fit. She reflects Plum’s values of being honest and real. Our association with her is a step towards strengthening the connection with our customers and reaching out to millions of more women who will emotionally associate with our brand and love using our products. We are confident that her voice will inspire them to be comfortable in their skincare and beauty choices and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her as the face of Plum.”
Imagine Marketing, which owns the Boat brand of earphones and smartwatches, has filed DRHP for an initial public offer (IPO) of up to Rs 2,000 crore with market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).
According to the DRHP, the IPO would consist of a fresh issue of shares worth up to Rs 900 crore, an offer for the sale of shares worth up to Rs 1,100 crore. Reportedly, South Lake Investment will sell shares worth up to Rs 800 crore in Imagine Marketing's IPO.
Also, according to various reports, the company plans to utilize IPO proceeds to repay or prepay debt.
The consumer electronics brand Boat was last valued at around Rs 2,200 crore when it raised Rs 50 crore from Qualcomm Ventures in April last year. It is now eyeing a valuation of around 5-6 times its revenue for this fiscal, the report added.
Axis Capital, BoFa Securities, Credit Suisse Securities, ICICI Securities are the book running lead managers to the issue.
Founded in 2016, Boat is one of the most popular D2C brands that has challenged market leaders in the earphones and wearables space.
The Souled Store, one of India’s most loved casual wear and pop-culture apparel brands, announced an exciting collaboration with India’s star all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja.
Jadeja’s popularity amongst the youth and his swanky sense of style has proved that he’s a true star both on and off-field; making him a perfect fit for the collab. The star will be seen sporting various looks from The Souled Store’s latest collection, the Supima collection being one of the highlights.
Ravindra Jadeja said, “I am extremely excited to be associated with The Souled Store. I personally find its collection fun and very unique. I am glad that I could be a part of the TSS family and support the homegrown brand in the best way I could.”
Harsh Lal, Co-Founder, The Souled Store said, “Ravindra Jadeja with his astounding performance, has carved a niche for himself in the cricketing game. It is his adaptability that resonates with The Souled Store’s identity. We believe that his huge fan following and our brand’s growing stature in the pop culture space will form a fantastic partnership.”
Ravindra Jadeja is regarded as one of India’s top athletes as he played his debut game at the age of 16 in the world of cricket. He is currently ranked number 3 in the ICC Men’s Test rankings. He definitely adds a glorious feather in the cap of The Souled Store’s ever-growing list of celebrity associations.
Chennai-based baby care startup Baby Amore has raised undisclosed external funding from GetVantage, India's largest revenue-based financing fintech platform, and marketplace.
Founded in 2019 by Hameed Imthad and Abdul Wahab, Baby more provides eco-friendly, organic, and sustainable baby products.
At present, the company sells over 100 brands and 2000 SKUs through its e-commerce store and has recently opened its first concept store in Chennai. With the funding from GetVantage, it plans to expand its business by providing customers with an omnichannel shopping experience and go aggressive with its brand-building strategy.
The company aims to expand its concept stores to more metro cities and rope in international brands with similar ideals on its e-commerce platform.
Bhavik Vasa, Co-Founder, and CEO of GetVantage said, "We are constantly looking for brands and businesses that are working on a niche market and unique ideas. Baby care is one such industry with several white spaces that needs attention. With rising nuclear families and working parents, it becomes crucial and essential for parents to ensure that their kids are safe. Baby Amore is always on its feet, innovating and making baby care more sustainable and safer."
As the leading revenue-based financing fintech platform in India, GetVantage has supported over 100 digital-first brands across sectors. The company provides founders anywhere between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 2 crore of non-dilutive growth capital compared to traditional funding sources, which mostly require business owners to dilute equity or give control via board seats, or warrants.
In the first year of operations, Baby Amore sold 30,000 products, and in 2021. the company clocked a 70 percent revenue growth. With the baby care industry poised to grow exponentially for the next five years, the company expects to achieve a revenue of Rs 40 crore by 2025 and have a chain of 50 concept stores.
Abdul Wahab. Co-Founder, Baby Amore said, "After being a digital-first brand for over two years, we decided to expand our channels to provide a concept-driven experience to our customers. We are glad to be backed by GetVantage in revenue-based finance."
The baby care product market in India is expected to touch $ 26.35 Billion by 2025, growing at an 11 percent CAGR on the back of an increase in internet penetration and online availability of baby care products and the growing number of nuclear and single-parent families.
Good Glamm Group, a content-to-commerce conglomerate, said it has acquired a majority stake in beauty and personal care brand Organic Harvest, for an undisclosed amount.
Good Glamm will invest an additional Rs 75 crore in growing the brand. The transaction marks the foray of Good Glamm Group in the organic BPC category, according to a statement.
Darpan Sanghvi, Founder, and CEO, Good Glamm Group Group, said, "Organic Harvest has predominantly been an offline first brand. Now, as part of the Good Glamm Group, Organic Harvest will be able to leverage the group's large digital audience."
He added that Organic Harvest will have access to data-driven insights from the group's content platforms into what consumers are looking for along with a strategic approach towards influencer marketing with Good Creator Co's full stack of influencer marketing services and solutions to create meaningful campaigns with measurable ROI.
Sanghvi also said these campaigns will be integrated into Organic Harvest's product development engine to accelerate the creation, launch, and marketing of products across the skin and personal care.
Started in 2013 by Rahul Agarwal, Organic Harvest will continue to work as an independent entity.
Rahul Agarwal, CEO, Organic Harvest said, "Organic Harvest has over 700 employees. Yes, all of them have been absorbed in the company. The Good Glamm Group-Organic Harvest partnership came about on a shared vision to leverage content-to commerce to exponentially grow the organic BC (beauty and personal care) category. To scale this further, Good Glamm will be investing a further Rs 75 crore in growing the brand."
He added that Organic Harvest has a current revenue run rate of Rs 75 crore and is targeting a revenue run rate of Rs 250 crore by March 2023.
Agarwal will work closely with Darpan Sanghvi, Priyanka Gill, and Naiyya Saggi, Co-founders of Good Glamm Group along with Sukhleen Aneja (CEO - Beauty and FMCG Brands at Good Glamm Group) to accelerate Organic Harvest's presence in India and globally.
This acquisition is a continuation of the Good Glamm Group's approach to acquiring innovative and fast-growing beauty brands in important categories of BPC, and powering them by a content-to-commerce strategy.
Brands that are associated with Good Glamm Group include MyGlamm, POPxo, Plixxo, BabyChakra, The Moms Co, ScoopWhoop, St Botanica, MissMalini Entertainment, Sirona Hygiene, Vidooly, and Winkl. Earlier this month, Plixxo, MissMar Wink, and Vidooly were spun off from Good Glamm Group. And, Good Creator Co, India's largest creator ecosystem, was launched.
The Good Glamm Group's current revenue run rate is at about $150 million and is projected to touch $250 million by March 2022. It has completed acquisitions worth $270 million in 2021 using a combination of $ 100 million cash and balance in stock swaps and earnouts.
It is targeting IPO in FY23-24. In November 2021, Good Glam Group entered the unicorn club with a valuation of $1.2 billion and raised $150 million from Warburg Pincus and Prosus Ventures.
India's leading natural beauty care company, Lotus Herbals Pvt Ltd, announced the acquisition of 25 percent stake in Conscious Chemist, the new-age clean beauty, direct-to-consumer brand.
Conscious Chemist plans to disrupt the skincare category with its well-formulated, functional, and innovative product line. The clean beauty DTC start-up brand that began operations a couple of years ago with just three products in the marketplace now has a functional skincare range of assembled products spread across categories spanning face care, eye care, and body care.
Nitin Passi, Joint Managing Director, Lotus Herbals, says, "We are excited about our strategic investment in Conscious Chemist since it aligns with our strategy for accelerating growth in the DTC digital native universe focused on clean beauty. The brand also resonates with our commitment to sustainability and environmentally friendly practices."
"We appreciate the vigour, exuberance, and dynamism that Conscious Chemist brings and will provide them tangible access to Indian and global markets, technological and marketing mentorship that will help in propelling its growth over the next five years," Passi adds.
Robin Gupta, Co-Founder, and CEO, Conscious Chemist, says, "We are thrilled to announce our association with Lotus as we have always admired the legacy Lotus has built. It is a focussed ethical beauty care company anchored in bringing quality products to discerning consumers. We are confident that this synergistic relationship will drive exponential growth."
Prakher Mathur, Co-Founder and COO, Conscious Chemist, further adds, "This investment from Lotus will help us fuel our commitment to launch category-creating innovative products, drive consumer behavior change through education about performance-driven skincare solutions and expand our national and global footprint."
Every Conscious Chemist formula is rigorously tested to ensure maximum efficacy and powerful active ingredients to deliver clinically-proven results. The approach to making products is holistic; Conscious Chemist believes in the power of both botanical ingredients and science-backed clinically proven actives with practices that are good for both the environment and the consumer. All products are free from harmful toxins, fragrances, and toxic chemicals.
The brand preaches transparency by completely disclosing the product formulas. Its products are never tested on animals, are ethically produced, and use only sustainable packaging. Conscious Chemist cares for the environment and constantly ideates and works towards making its practices more eco-friendly and sustainable including plastic offsetting in their supply chain too. As a socially responsible brand, a part of all purchases go towards Reef Watch India for marine life restoration in the Indian Ocean.
Post the onset of the pandemic, Lotus Herbals has made strategic investments in emerging beauty brands over the past eighteen months with the 100 percent acquisition of the luxury Ayurveda brand SoulTree in September 2020, followed by a 32 percent stake buy in the Dermaceutical Company Fix Derma India in October 2021 and its most recent investment in Conscious Chemist.
Honasa Consumer, the parent company of personal care brands, Mamaearth, The Derma Co, and Aqualogica, announced its partnership with Unicommerce to strengthen its operations and expedite the order delivery process.
The company will adopt Unicommerce solutions to achieve business efficiency and elevate the post-purchase experience.
Unicommerce has harnessed all three brands with order management and warehouse management solutions to simplify logistics management, streamline order management by building a centralized system and reduce return orders. Honasa Consumer has been able to achieve a 99.99 percent order fulfillment rate across multiple warehouses located across various locations in the country.
Honasa Consumer has been able to establish Mamaearth as a leading personal care brand and plans on aggressively expanding other brands too. The aggressive growth of all three brands posed certain operational challenges such as inventory and bulk order management with complete compliance, return order management, order allocation, and logistics management.
The partnership with Unicommerce was aimed at automating operations with a centralized window that provides complete visibility of orders and inventory on a single platform. The warehouse management solution will further integrate all warehouses on a single platform and enable them to automatically allocate them to the nearest warehouse. Unicommerce is managing the warehouses with full visibility of stock movement including returns.
Kapil Makhija, CEO of Unicommerce, said, “We are extremely delighted to partner with Honasa Consumer and provide them with technical support for all the three brands. We are committed to providing them with best-in-class technology to help them manage orders for all three brands on a single platform. We are glad that we have been able to automate operations for a company with such huge inventory. Our solutions also helped the company in significantly reducing delivery errors, ensuring faster order fulfillment, and reducing return orders. We will continue to work with them and support them in their growth journey."
The Unicommerce solution comes with 150+ hassle-free integrations which include global marketplaces, website platforms, logistics providers, ERP, and POS systems.
Avinash Dhagat, Vice President-Operations, Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. said “We believe that technology will continue playing a critical role in our growth journey. Having Unicommerce as our technology partner for our e-commerce order management has been instrumental in building the right efficiencies in our supply chain operations. They have an evolved e-commerce focused supply chain solution and their ability to meet evolving business needs of this space makes us confident of the value that Unicommerce will keep adding in our next phase of growth.”
At 1 million+ daily transactions, Unicommerce clocks over $5 billion GMV annually. Moreover, the e-commerce automation platform currently processes over 20 percent of India’s total volume of shipments.
Cloud Tailor, a D2C platform that enables personalized women’s fashion, announced that India Discovery Fund from 35North Ventures along with Mergerdomo has led the Pre Series A funding, pegged at $1.0 million to build the brand as the topmost option for convenient fashion for women globally.
Two of Cloud Tailor's existing HNI customers (Neema Rani from the US and Nirupa Reddy from Hyderabad) also participated in the current funding round. The raised funds will be allocated towards the expansion of personalized fashion fulfillment centers across 8 cities in India (Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Patna, and Mumbai) and the growth of its technology team and the marketplace business models for Cloud Tailor.
Founded in December 2020, Cloud Tailor is the brainchild of Hyderabad-based Wife and Husband duo of Susmitha and Rudra (BITS, Pilani, and IIM Kolkata alumni) who, during the pandemic induced lockdown faced tailoring related woes but they used their engineering background to turn this woe into an opportunity.
The idea was to iron out the challenges and bring inconvenience, efficiency, and ease to the current need in the existing ladies' customized offline tailoring model that was further accelerated during the lockdown. This led to the curation of the world's first homegrown online app-based tailoring solution called ‘Cloud Tailor’ based on a ‘low operational cost – high-quality personalized fashion’ business model.
The operations commenced with a full-time fashion fulfillment center in Hyderabad with an initially bootstrapped self-investment of around Rs 60 lakh along with Mahesh Patel, a long-time friend of Rudra. Susmitha, Rudra, and Mahesh quit their existing jobs, moved in full time as founders, and began serving female clients pan-India and overseas with a strong Indian diaspora, ensuring that the demand for the cloud boutique takes off immediately.
In a span of one year, the company added more strength by bringing on board industry veterans who contributed to the brand strategy and growth immensely and paved the path for pan-India expansion and stronger penetration, both online and offline.
Susmitha Lakkakula, Founder, Cloud Tailor said, “We are excited to announce 35North Ventures and MergerDomo’s investment in Cloud Tailor. Cloud Tailor was instantly associated with India Discovery Fund -I, an Angel fund of 35North Ventures, a registered VC on MergerDomo's algorithm-based investment banking platform, as its industry stage, size, and investment requirement matched the thesis of India Discovery Fund-I. We are looking forward to building a long-term partnership with them.”
“We’re glad to have found the perfect partners who support our vision of creating and optimizing consumer experience in personalized fashion like never before, disrupting the D2C fashion space through technology and cultivating consumer relationships across the globe with those seeking quality. We are also grateful to our long-time customers Neema and Nirupa for believing in our growth story,” she added.
Ashwani Singh from 35North Ventures said, “We are very happy to partner with Cloud Tailor in its growth journey towards becoming the D2C brand to reckon with in the personalized fashion sector. The dynamic founders created this unique concept at a time where businesses were scrambling to stay afloat. They have had a great start performance-wise and they are now on an upward swing where they have brilliantly managed to understand a simple yet complicated consumer concern and have the most viable solution ready. We look forward to a great journey ahead and we wish the team at Cloud Tailor great success in the years to come.”
Hormazd Charna, CEO, MergerDomo, said, "I am extremely impressed with the founding team’s vision and execution abilities. Furthermore, we believe there is huge scope for leveraging technology in this space. With fashion technology evolving every day, we see immense change in how we consume, create, buy and sell fashion.”
Cloud Tailor will be operationalized across 20 cities in the coming two quarters. They will grow their customer base to more than 15 countries across the world, for their D2C personalized fashion orders
The Sleep Company, Asia’s SmartGRID technology pioneers, and advocates of the sleep-tech movement launched its latest transformative innovations - the ‘Elev8 Smart Adjustable Bed Frame’ and the ‘Smart Ortho Hybrid Pocketed Spring Mattress’.
Both products will be exclusively available on The Sleep Company's website and Amazon marketplace, with the design and functionality aimed at further uplifting the sleep and comfort experience, bringing it into the 21st century.
Inspired by the versatility and adaptability of the brand’s, patented SmartGRID technology, the ‘Smart’ Bed Frame is available at the launch price of Rs 46,999. The Smart Ortho Hybrid Pocketed Mattress which extends the application of the company’s revolutionary technology and combines it with the advanced orthopedic support and pocketed spring will be available at the introductory price of Rs 35,145.
With unique features like zero gravity mode for balanced body comfort, an anti-snore posture that enables the air to flow to move more freely, TV mode as well as a dual-zone massager for deep relaxation, all accessible at a click of a button, the Elevat8 Smart Adjustable Bed offers a comprehensive comfort experience that incorporates smart technology to improve health and overall well being. Meanwhile, the Smart Ortho Hybrid Mattress is the only ortho mattress in India that has a SmartGRID Layer, an advanced ortho support layer combined with pocketed spring.
Priyanka Salot, Co-founder, The Sleep Company, said "Technology has and continues to change the way we live our day-to-day and it is The Sleep Company’s ambition to ensure that the sleep and comfort experience is infused with that same level of change and transformation. With that in mind, we have worked towards introducing inventive technologies, by extending the applications of our patented SmartGRID technology with the Smart Ortho Hybrid Mattress as well as with our foray into the ‘smart’ furniture space with the Elev8 Smart Adjustable Bed Frame.”
Goat Brand Labs, a Thrasio-style venture run by former Flipkart executive Rishi Vasudev, has bought a 90 percent stake in The Label Life to enter the women's fast fashion sector.
Goat Brand Labs will absorb most of The Label Life's team, according to a statement.
The company's co-founder, Preeta Sukhtankar, will move away from her operating role to an advisory one, while the other co-founders Yashika Punjabee and Sonam Shah, who was brought on board in 2016 will join the direct-to-consumer house of brands
The Mumbai-based brand was started by Sukhtankar in partnership with Bollywood personalities Susanne Khan, Malaika Arora, and Bipasha Basu, who were the brand's style editors.
Goat Brand has raised $36 million from New York-based investment firm Tiger Global, Flipkart Ventures, US-based Mayfield, Nordstar Partners, and Better Capital. The startup plans to add multiple brands in the women's western wear space.
The Label Life sells across categories like apparel, accessories, footwear, and home. It plans to build these categories further and expand into jewelry, beauty, and personal care as well as loungewear, among others.
"Women's fashion and beauty are the hottest spaces in e-commerce in India, and we were extremely keen to acquire a strong brand with high growth potential. We will scale the brand (The Label Life) exponentially by expanding globally and launching new product categories. The aim is to make it one of the first D2C brands to hit the Rs 500 crore revenue mark by 2025," Vasudev said in the statement.
"As the founding team we have always believed that while we have the competency to build brands and understand style and aspiration, we've always hoped to partner with like-minded people who bring on board scale and strategic capability to help the brand achieve what it deserves," Shah added.
The Label Life is the latest addition to the portfolio of D2C brand acquisitions made by Goat Brands Labs including Pepe Jeans Inner Fashion, women's Indian wear brand Abhishti, and pet food brand Doggie Dabbas.
Bengaluru-based coffee start-up, SLAY, has introduced the country’s very first Coffee Recommendation Engine in the form of an AR filter.
One of India’s leading coffee brands that is taking the handcrafted gourmet coffee experience out of the cafe, SLAY, has understood their consumers’ need for a recommender system, now that coffee is available in a wide range, making it intimidating for some to pick their cup for the day.
Coffee is one of the most dynamic beverages in the world that can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. This constant development in the preparation style, flavors, and combinations of coffee leads to an extensive menu with confusing names like Macchiato, Ristretto, or Affogato - transforming the process of choosing a cup of coffee into a task, which only adds up to the worries of consumers rather than easing them.
By introducing its own coffee-recommending AR filter, SLAY Coffee intends to make this task of picking out a coffee an uncomplicated one. With a few quirky questions to better understand their coffee preferences - such as whether one drinks coffee with or without milk, flavors, hot or cold, and so on - the AR filter will recommend a coffee that is perfect for the consumer’s needs and moods.
The filter is available on SLAY Coffee’s Instagram page. All one has to do is click on the filter, answer the four questions with just a nod of their heads and receive a coffee recommendation. Not only that, but the filter also generates an exclusive coupon code that consumers can redeem during their next coffee purchase on Zomato.
Augmented Reality (AR) filters are computer-generated effects that work with the users’ camera, designed to be superimposed on real-life images and shareable on their social network. With social media turning into an easily accessible medium with the tech-savvy generation, SLAY Coffee’s AR filter aims at reaching out to maximum coffee lovers to make their coffee discovery journey effortless.
The filter offers them an opportunity to embrace new variants of coffee at the tip of their fingers, thereby creating an experience they want to repeat while bolstering the brand’s vision of democratizing great coffee.
One of India’s leading fashion companies, Aditya Birla Fashion, and Retail Limited, announced a strategic partnership with India’s leading designer Ms. Masaba Gupta to build a gen-next focused fashion and lifestyle business under the popular and contemporary brand 'Masaba' by way of entering into a Binding Term sheet to acquire 51 percent stake in the entity.
This partnership aims to create a young, aspirational, and digital-led portfolio play, across the affordable luxury segment in the fashion, beauty, and accessory categories.
Brand 'Masaba' will be scaled predominantly through the digital direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel, leveraging its strong connection with younger and digitally influenced consumers.
The brand will straddle across the entire lifestyle offerings ranging from apparel, accessories, beauty, and other lifestyle products. The brand is targeting to achieve annual revenue of around Rs 500 crore in the next 5 years.
This partnership will also mark ABFRL’s entry into the beauty and personal care market in India, which offers tremendous opportunities to build distinctive, scalable home-grown brands. This is a rapidly growing segment driven by an increase in women shoppers, a rise in disposable incomes, and acceleration in digital influence.
Ashish Dikshit, Managing Director, ABFRL said: “As a new generation of young and digitally native consumers explore their needs within fashion and lifestyle, they actively seek brands that are colorful, vivid, and digital. Masaba is a young, effervescent brand with a refreshing and innovative take on every lifestyle category.”
He added, “This partnership is also an important step in building a presence in the fast-growing beauty and personal care segment. This fits in well with our overall strategy to partner with India’s topmost designers to build a portfolio of distinctive and aspirational home-grown brands across fashion and lifestyle categories.”
Masaba Gupta, Founder, House of Masaba said, "As a young, homegrown brand I am delighted to partner with ABRFL to further solidify the House of Masaba into a 360-degree, global lifestyle brand of the future. Inspired by the ever-evolving, India-Proud Gen Z consumer, the brand will introduce multiple product extensions bringing Cosmetics, Personal Care, Athleisure and Home Decor to its portfolio.”
“The House of Masaba already has established a strong foothold among the youth with a robust digital-first strategy and the tie-up with ABRFL will strengthen this position, making the brand future-ready. With this partnership, I look forward to creating immersive and collaborative experiences for our target audiences who highly engage in virtual mediums today and are driving the industry's evolution to the Metaverse, '' Gupta added.
The proposed acquisition is subject to the signing of definitive agreements, completion of closing conditions precedent to be set out in the definitive agreements, and statutory approvals if any. Wazir Advisors acted as sole advisors for this transaction.
Kapiva, a homegrown Ayurvedic D2C brand, announced that it is foraying into the ingestible Skin Foods category with the launch of Glow Mix, a plant-based supplement in a ready-to-go convenient sachet.
By launching this revolutionary product, the brand aims to give glowing skin to consumers through the right nutrition based on Ayurvedic principles.
Aimed at nourishing the skin from within, Glow Mix will empower people to address skin dullness, anti-aging, pigmentation, dark circle, and UV damage concerns adding a natural glow to their skin.
Available as a 30-day regime package, Glow Mix is a vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) product, targeted at women in the age group 21-40. In addition to this, it is also preservative-free, has no added sugar, and is available in rose flavor. With this launch, Kapiva strengthens its vision of integrating Ayurveda into India’s daily lifestyle and promoting holistic living.
Glow Mix is designed to be effective on various skin types - sensitive, dry, oily, or combination. Its primary ingredients include - Pomegranate, Rose, Shatavari, Aloe Vera extracts that reduce hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin synthesis and increasing pro-collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Ameve Sharma, Founder - Kapiva, said, “Our aim has been to enable our consumers with alternate Ayurvedic solutions that they can incorporate in their life to make it better and holistic. Hence, realizing the need-gap for holistic solutions in the skincare industry, we decided to venture into the Skin Food segment with the launch of Glow Mix.”
“It is a one of its kind product that aims to enable Indian consumers to experience the best natural look with Ayurvedic ingredients. Just like all our products, we’ve used extensive consumer research and conducted innumerable consumer tests to ensure the efficacy of our product. It addresses all the primary skin concerns such as dark circles, skin pigmentation, fine lines, UV damage, and not just that, it also helps them get more radiant skin in 3-5 weeks of usage. What makes this product unique is that it enhances the skin’s natural look and is not dependent on topical applications which will give a temporary effect. Therefore, we believe it’ll be a go-to solution for consumers to improve their skin health,” he added.
Kapiva’s brand ambassador and wellness advisor to the Kapiva Academy of Ayurveda Malaika Arora added, “Our skin is a mirror to what happens inside our bodies. I am glad that finally, a brand has thought about enhancing Skin’s natural look through the right Skin foods based on Ayurvedic principles. Hence, I truly believe Kapiva Skin Foods Glow mix is a game-changer.”
Kapiva recently roped in Malaika Arora as the brand ambassador and strategic investor. She has partnered with the brand showcasing her trust towards Ayurveda and Kapiva’s product solutions across various lifestyle issues faced by millennials. Kapiva, Series-B funded startup, has witnessed a GMV of over Rs 100 crore and has raised over Rs 110 crore led by investors like Vertex ventures, Fireside, and 3one4 capital.
Sanfe, India's revolutionary feminine hygiene, and intimate skincare brand are now foraying into the beauty category by the name - Sanfe Beauty.
The brand has launched 25 new products which are dermatologically tested for facial skincare and hair care.
Sanfe Beauty is a cruelty-free, clean skin and haircare range with the motive of allowing women the freedom to choose to nurture their beauty from within. Driven by consumer insight, Sanfe has curated a new collection of products that aim to empower women’s beauty choices.
Primarily divided into three categories, namely ‘Promise’, ‘Glo’ and ‘Stunner’, Sanfe’s new beauty range urges women not to neglect their skin and hair needs and make it a part of their daily routine. As an attempt to simplify women’s skin and hair care, the new product range proves to be women’s one-stop-shop for buying all things related to their beauty regime. The products will be available on the company’s website as well as Nykaa, Amazon, and Flipkart.
The price range starts from Rs 299- 599 making it affordable and relevant across demographics and geographies. And making skincare affordable and accessible with respect to different skin and hair needs.
Harry Sehrawat, Co-Founder of Sanfe said, “We are excited to enter the space of women’s beauty with our new line of products. Our aim is to empower women and provide them with a solution to their varying skin and hair needs with Sanfe Beauty. We provide curated clean, cruelty-free products. Our scientifically backed formulas are suited across all skin types and the simplicity of our products ensures results and the performance.”
Last year, Sanfe has raised a fresh series A funding of $1 million. The investment comes from the likes of LetsVenture, Ajay Garg, Tarun Sharma (Mcaffeine), Arjun Vaidya, Dhimant Parekh among other D2C founders.
The Promise category consists of a range of products for the face, ensuring women keep all promises made to their skin. These products include Face Serum Shots, Face Lush Wash, Face Lush Moisturiser, Face Lush Sunscreen, and many more with the goodness of Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Salicylic Acid and Niacinamide.
The Stunner category offers hair serums suited for different needs like greying hair, dry and itchy scalp, and controlling dandruff. The Glo category consists of products for brightening of lip, skin on the neck, brightening and softening elbows, under-eye lightening, and much more.
Licious, India’s first D2C unicorn, announced the appointment of Vakul Agarwal as Vice President, Growth. An accomplished young leader for digital businesses, he will be spearheading all efforts towards driving growth for Licious across all channels as it enters a post-unicorn era.
Agarwal’s appointment comes on the heels of other key strategic additions to the Licious leadership team. He brings in more than 10 years of experience of creating a superlative customer experience, having worked in diverse sectors including e-commerce, consumer internet, and technology.
At Licious, he will be instrumental in fuelling the company’s customer-obsession mantra through a winning marketing and product strategy. This includes spearheading agile initiatives, building for the future, and prudent risk management.
In his last role at Grofers (now Blinkit), he wore multiple hats in his 6.5+ years stint from leading the digital marketing team to building the industry’s biggest property ‘GOBD’ to leading product teams to eventually leading overall growth for the business.
He was recognized as the Digital Leader of the year - 2018 by IAMAI for the retention and consumer lifecycle engine that was successfully implemented for the business and brought significant efficiencies in retention spending.
Prior to Grofers (now Blinkit), he was a consultant with McKinsey and Company and American Express. He is an alumnus of IIT Bombay.
Naveen Neerlaje, Head-HR, Licious, said, “We are very excited to welcome Vakul to the Licious team. As a young and agile company, we are always looking for capable leaders who can unlock the next level of marketing and drive growth for us. Vakul comes with proven expertise in digital-first businesses and can fine-tune the Licious strategy to not only suit the new normal but create a playbook that can be used to accelerate growth as the company expands both its geographical presence and product portfolio.”
Vakul Agarwal, VP - Growth, Licious, stated, “Licious presents the rare opportunity of not only building a brand but defining a category that holds so much promise. The Indian meats and seafood industry is a $40 billion opportunity. This, when coupled with the vast and varied Indian D2C landscape presents us with an unparalleled opportunity to disrupt and create benchmarks for the industry to follow. I am excited and looking forward to working with the team to continue building India’s most loved meat brand and co-create future-ready solutions for a sector that is in need of strategic interventions.”
Since its inception in 2015, Licious has adopted 100 percent traceable and sustainable sourcing practices, creating quality benchmarks for the industry. The Bengaluru-based brand is also the first meat and seafood brand from India to be certified with FSSC22000, one of the highest food safety certifications in the world.
Built on the farm-to-fork business model, Licious controls the entire supply chain, powered by stringent cold chain control to maintain the quality and freshness of products from the time of procurement, processing, and storage until the time it reaches the end consumer. The brand is synonymous with a smooth, trustworthy, and hassle-free meat and seafood shopping experience.
Currently, Licious has 5,000+ employees and a strong presence across 14 Indian markets, namely Bengaluru, Hyderabad, NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Kochi, Puducherry, Vizag, Vijayawada, and Kolkata.
GlobalBees, India’s newest unicorn, and a leading roll-up e-commerce company has added three new brands to its portfolio with investment in healthy-snack food brand, The Butternut company; sustainable clothing brand Mush; and sports and fitness equipment brand Strauss.
The Butternut Company, founded in 2016 by Ankita M Kukreja, Sahil Kukreja, and Suhail Pansare, offers nut butter, chocolate spreads, and healthy snack foods in a variety of flavors with no added refined sugar. The brand focuses on plant protein and heart-healthy fats suitable for people of all ages, including children and the elderly. It has served over one million customers to date.
Sahil Kukreja, Co-Founder, The Butternut Company, said, "Over the last four years, we have created a trusted brand that focuses on providing nutritious snack items produced with natural ingredients. We are confident that our partnership with GlobalBees’ team will help establish the brand as a household name in India and around the world.”
Mush is a premium brand committed to providing its customers with an exclusive range of bamboo textile products. The company was founded by Ayush Agarwal and Nihar Gosalia in 2018. The brand sells eco-friendly and high-quality bamboo textile bath sets, bath towels, face towels and aims to replace cotton, polyester, and other similar fiber with bamboo fibers. Within a few years, the brand has expanded to 50+ SKU’s.
Nihar Gosalia, Co-Founder, Mush, said, “The demand for sustainable fashion is increasing tremendously and we see bamboo fibers replacing others due to its performance and ecological benefits. Joining the GlobalBees family will accelerate our growth engines as we plan to launch various products across categories on both online and offline channels.”
Strauss, launched in 2016 by Deepak Sachdeva, is one of the market leaders in sports and fitness equipment categories, with over 25+ products ranked number one on Amazon and Flipkart. The company sells high-quality sports and fitness equipment in categories including exercise and fitness, yoga, skating, cricket, cycling, and more.
Deepak Sachdeva, Founder, Strauss, said, “Today’s consumer is seeking easy, convenient, and at-home ways to stay fit and healthy. At Strauss, we strive to provide products that address both the physical and mental well-being of consumers. By partnering with industry leaders, we are confident of making fitness more accessible and enjoyable.”
Nitin Agarwal, CEO, GlobalBees, said, “With every company joining our journey, we move closer to the goal of establishing GlobalBees as a diverse house of brands serving millions of customers globally. These brands have a great growth trajectory and come with a deep purpose to build meaningful products across categories that address unique consumer needs. We plan to collaborate closely with the founders to make these brands household names."
GlobalBees now has eleven direct-to-consumer brands in its portfolio, including The Better Home, andMe, Prolixr, Absorbia, Yellow Chimes, HealthyHey, Rey Naturals, and Intellilens.
In the next three years, GlobalBees is looking forward to investing in 100+ brands across verticals, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), sports, home organization, and lifestyle.
Lahori, a direct-to-consumer beverage maker, has raised $15 million from Verlinvest as part of its Series A funding round.
The Belgium-based, consumer-focused investor has picked an undisclosed minority stake in the company.
The Punjab-based startup will use the capital to double down on its brand's growth through offline and online expansion and enhance the national presence of the brand in retail chains. The funding will also be used for the development and launch of new category-creating products.
Lahori, with its unique positioning of providing desi drinks, plans to expand its presence across India in the next three years.
Verlinvest is a global, family-owned evergreen investment group with multi-billion-dollar assets under management. In India, it has so far invested in brands such as Sula, Veeba, Epigamia, Byju's, Purple, and Wakefit.
"We want to give Indian consumers beverage options that resonate with their taste palette. We know that the ethnic beverages market in India is underserved, and we have the vision to become a prominent force in this space," said Saurabh Munjal, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive at Lahori.
According to the release, the non-alcoholic beverage industry in India is growing at a phenomenal rate and is expected to be worth more than $18 billion by 2026 In India, given the majority of the population resides in Tier I and Ill cities, the price points have been a critical aspect in penetrating the markets and building a brand with customer loyalty. The Indian market currently remains underpenetrated with low per capita consumption at about 5.5 liters per annum despite the population size vis-à-vis the per capita consumption in the US, which is estimated to be at least 20x higher.
Shagun Tiwary Shah, an investor at Verlinvest said, *Given the legacy of our Belgian family shareholders, beverages are a core focus area for us. Lahori has become a dominant player in the space in a very short time, creating a product loved by the masses. Among all the beverage companies we have seen so far in India, Lahori stood out for its taste, product innovation, and customer pull."
Power Gummies, a leading player in the nutraceutical industry, has raised $6 Million in Series A funding led by 9Unicorns, with participation from Vcats, DSG Consumer Partners, WIPRO Consumers, Sharpp Ventures (Marico Family office), and NB Ventures.
The New Delhi-based company, a true gummy pioneer, is a dietary supplement brand that has already established itself as a leader in this segment of the market and has now become the most valuable nutraceutical gummy company in India.
The brand leads with the motto 'Health Powered by Happiness and Backed by Science' while encouraging people to experience the gummy difference, with an innovative alternative to wellness supplements that are simply simple, super delicious, and so much fun. The brand is exclusively focused on offering health and wellness solutions to meet today's lifestyle. The brand has unique formulations backed by WHO standard clinical trials creating products through robust R&D while following sustainable manufacturing practices.
Power Gummies received its first round from venture capital company Alfa Ventures in 2019. In 2020, it received two further rounds of funding: the first was a seed round headed by Venture Catalysts and DSG Consumer Partners, while the second was a bridge round led by Agility Venture Partners, with DSG Consumer Partners and Vcats participating.
The brand aims to revolutionize the nutraceutical market in India to expand the brand locally as well as internationally. It also looks forward to using the funds for marketing purposes, to build a larger team, and to launch more variants of dietary supplements. Having already established themselves as a pioneer in this segment of the market, Power Gummies is now looking forward to launching more variants for the health and fitness industry.
With a true passion and a focused drive in everything that he does, the Gummy Man, Divij Bajaj, Founder and CEO, launched the brand in 2018 with the concept of introducing dietary supplements in a chewable form rather than capsules and tablets, creating a more pleasant consuming experience.
Aside from being FSSAI and FDA compliant, the gummies are manufactured with vegan-based ingredients, 0gm sugar, are gelatin and gluten-free, contain no pesticides, no artificial color, and are 100 percent vegetarian. The supplements have also been lab-verified for purity, clinically assessed, and scientifically supported by biotin-based research published in European Food and Safety Association publications.
The firm credits its innovation to its belief in an extensive study, where each product is subjected to a number of clinical studies to prove its worth. Lastly, the firm markets its products through its website and on e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Nykaa.
Divij Bajaj, Founder, and CEO said, “Power Gummies is all set to mark its space at global nutraceutical industry podium with this newly raised funding round. We are extremely excited to roll out new projects such as introducing new variants and expanding overseas. I truly believe that when you understand the need of the hour, you become the change of the hour.”
“That is how our mission is to devise scientifically backed supplements following our brand philosophy of ‘health powered by happiness and backed by science’, that make taking nutrition easy with just 2 gummies a day! As a brand, we encourage people to adapt to gummies to follow a healthier lifestyle and be the best version of themselves,” he added.
On the same, a key investor of the brand and Co-Founder of Venture Catalyst and 9Unicorns, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma stated, “The nutraceuticals industry has been growing owing to the increasing preference of a nutrient-rich diet among the consumers. People have also now realized the role of nutraceutical products like Power Gummies which are gluten-free and vegan. These vitamins and proteins are transformed into edible gummies that can help in various disease prevention. With the huge demand that the sector has been garnering, we will continue to invest in preventive health products.”
“The nutraceutical market in India has seen strong traction over the last few years and is expected to grow at 20%+ in the coming years. Gummies as a format are likely to take off in a big way, given the convenience factor. We value Power Gummies and Divij for the leadership they bring. The strength of Divij and its passionate team, high-quality products, and a clear focus on what consumers require would make it a top player in the Nutra industry”, said Sumit Keshan, Managing Partner, Wipro Consumer Care – Ventures.
Currently, the brand has four variants being Gorgeous Hair and Nails (hair and nail vitamin gummies), The Beach Body (sugar-free gummies for weight management), That Time of the Month (period pain relief gummies), Jaw-Dropping Skin (collagen builder gummies for glowing skin and promoting beauty from within) and plans to launch 45 more in the upcoming future. With steady growth, the company has had a great fiscal year in 2020, and today, it is reviewed favorably by customers with ratings of 4.0 on Amazon, 4.4 on Nykaa, and above 4.5 on their website.
Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) has raised Rs 160 crore in a round led by Malabar Investments, a hedge fund based in India.
The round also saw participation from Patni Advisors, Singularity AMC, and other HNIs. ESOP sales for some of its employees and exits for early investors to the tune of Rs 45 crore was another feature of this round.
The round comes 11 months after the company raised Rs 45 crore from Reckitt, a global FMCG giant in the health, hygiene, and nutrition space. The company is uniquely capitalized with two global, strategic giants – Colgate Palmolive and Reckitt on their cap table.
Sumeet Nagar, Managing Director at Malabar Investments said, “We found Bombay Shaving Company team to have this passionate and obsessive compulsion to address consumer pain points through product innovation, which is the hallmark of any great consumer company. In a short period of time, they have built a sizeable business and a differentiated franchise despite heavily established competition. We believe hair removal is a large market and Bombay Shaving Company has emerged as a strong challenger across categories. We are thrilled to partner with them.”
Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) plans to scale operations to Rs 500 crore top line with omnichannel presence in the next two years and will deploy the funds towards expanding its portfolio of personal care and hair removal products.
Along with launching new products, BSC will continue to aggressively expand its offline distribution, build an international presence, invest in brand building, and hire talent across positions.BSC also intends to acquire brands in adjacent categories and content platforms and is in advanced talks to raise a further Rs 300 crore for this.
The investment will further bolster the brand’s ambition to deliver 10X growth in the next 5 years.
Launched in 2016, BSC started as a premium, D2C, experiential shaving regimen brand and has since expanded into diverse hair removal categories. In 2020, BSC forayed into women’s hair removal with their brand ‘Bombay Shaving Company–Women’ which now accounts for nearly 25 percent of the total business. BSC has a rich portfolio of over 100 SKUs - comprising hair removal products for both men and women.
The list includes shaving regimens, trimmers, beard products, razors for women, wax strips, hair removal creams, and other products and accessories. BSC has served over 3 million customers across channels in the six years of its existence. With a finger on the pulse of customers, the brand is seen to be conscious, sensitive, and responsible.
“We are delighted to have investors of such caliber join our cap table. We are singularly focused on building a brand that owns hair removal. As we scale from Rs 150 crore to 500 crore, and 1,000 crore, we needed an investor group that could guide us on building an IPO-able company,” said Shantanu Deshpande, founder CEO of BSC.
“We entered the market looking to raise Rs 100 crore but were delighted to have received offers of > Rs 500 crore. We will be evaluating how to further accommodate valuable investors. Also, we are happy to provide Rs 45 crore exits to our employees and early investors, a significant value creation milestone for us,” he added.
Deepak Gupta, Chief Operating Officer at BSC, said, “We have the best start-up sales team in India, bar none. We will scale our store presence from 50,000 to 200,000 selling points across India and aim to grab a 15 percent+ share in hair removal in these stores. We also have a pipeline of 30+ innovative products in 2022 and are keen to deeply invest in the brand as well. We’ve signed Indian international cricketer, R Ashwin, and actress Alaya F as brand ambassadors. The brand is witnessing a surge in overall volumes, transaction value, and an increase in users’ vis-à-vis last year. We are already clocking 1.5 million shipments a quarter.”
“We see the international channel achieving salience for us in a span of 18-24 months, adding 10-15 percent to our overall company revenue,” he further added.
This will be the 6th round of financing for the company that counts Reckitt, Colgate Palmolive, Sixth Sense Venture Partners, and industry powerlifters (including former vice-chairman of TCS S Ramadorai and 16 senior partners from McKinsey and Company) as investors.
India’s largest customized Ayurveda beauty brand Vedix has announced the all-new Onion range to treat your different hair problems.
Vedix which is the fastest-growing D2C beauty brand has brought unadulterated Ayurveda-led customization of hair care regimes to the market. Over the last few years, Vedix has created a dominant position in the Indian D2C beauty market with its range of customized Ayurvedic oils, serums, and shampoos.
With this, the company has boosted its hair care category and rolled out 10 new products in the market consisting of 3 hair oils, 4 shampoos, and 3 hair masks. The collection is now live on top marketplaces – Amazon. Flipkart, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Trell, Nykaa, and Purplle.
Vedix Onion range is designed to tap the full potential of the revered herb - Palandu (Onion). The high Gandhak (sulphur) content of onion is highly prized in ayurvedic Rasa shastras. Sulphur aids tissue repair strengthens hair, skin, and fingernails. It improves skin's elasticity thus preventing hair breakage. Dandruff also reduces owing to sulphur. Sulphur is highly effective against skin infections.
Jatin Gujrati, Business Head Vedix says, “Vedix continues being at the cutting edge of innovation and R&D in Ayurveda to deliver efficacy Beauty solutions in a modern format. Customers are slowly understanding the importance of natural ingredients for their hair and onion is a key part of that shift.”
“Hair loss is a common condition and can be caused by diet-related factors such as nutrient deficiencies which can negatively affect hair growth along with environmental factors in which we live today. We launched the entire onion range keeping in mind our unique formulations and given our Ayurveda-led deep understanding, we have bought this exclusive range in a modern format which is highly customized for normal to oily and dry scalp,” he added.
The Vedix onion range is a polyherbal formulation. Many herbs together exalt the sum effect of Onion on hair fall. Onion is formulated with a specific dosha balancing herb appropriate for your Hair type (Prakriti).
Haircare is of primary importance today and Ayurveda believes that the dosha imbalances can affect various parts of our body, including hair and how well it grows. Since everyone’s dosha’s are different, a hair growth regimen that works for one person, might not work for someone else. Ayurveda involves the concept of AharaVihara (diet and lifestyle) that benefits the entire well-being of your mind and body along with your hair health.
The customized Vedix onion range comprises an oil, customized for your hair. The shampoo is customized based on hair type. Scalps prone to dandruff receive a customized version too. An Onion mask customized as per scalp type, conditions hair deeply.
The pungent smell of onion is balanced skilfully. Another reason to indulge and bask in onion’s glory.
Leading personal care brand WOW Skin Science has launched a new initiative under the umbrella of ‘WOW Green Hands’. As a part of this initiative, with every purchase now made from buywow.in, customers will receive a seed pouch, thus paving a way for a greener and cleaner future.
Since its inception in 2013, WOW Skin Science has been fronting the vision of bridging the gap between conscious people and innovative breakthrough products in the skincare and haircare market with their nature-inspired formulations free of harsh chemicals and cruelty-free products.
With sustainability now being a conscious choice appreciated by the consumers of today, WOW Skin Science has also taken cognizance of the situation by reflecting on the ecological footprint and innovating on best practices for better sustainability. The Vitamin C Face Wash with paper tube packaging, 30 percent PCR packaging, and many other upcoming initiatives are a testament to their efforts. The brand pledges to go 100 percent PCR packaging by 2023 by introducing their paper tube packaging throughout all their product SKUs.
With the #WOWGreenHandsInitiative, the brand aims at shipping seed pouches with every order and to get 1 crore seeds planted by the end of 2022. More than 90,000 seed pouches have been dispatched nationally with the orders and the initiative keeps growing bigger and better with every purchase.
Manish Chowdhary, Co-CEO of Body Cupid Pvt Limited said, “We started out with the aim of giving natural personal care products to the community that delivers visible results by keeping our customers at the center of our decision-making process. Thanks to the changing times, sustainability has evolved from just being a wish to a vision that brands have started undertaking.”
“With #WOWGreenHandsInitiative, we are taking sustainability to a whole new dimension by encouraging consumers to plant trees and to envision a greener and cleaner future together. Our aim as an organization is to be more responsible towards sustainability and that’s why we are also planning many environment-friendly initiatives that are already in the pipeline,” he added.
Sleepy Owl, a D2C coffee brand has announced the launch of its Premium Instant Coffee, thereby expanding its product portfolio and widening its accessibility as a brand.
With its Premium Instant Coffee, Sleepy Owl aspires to elevate every instant coffee drinker’s expectations by switching up their coffee routine and introducing them to a cup of Real Good Instant Coffee. Through this product, the brand aims to close the gap between convenience and experience, which has been one of the key USPs of the brand and reflects across all its product offerings.
Sleepy Owl's Premium Instant Coffee is made with its signature 100 percent Arabica beans and uses Micro ground Technology, which consists of 95 percent soluble coffee crystals and 5 percent freshly roasted high-quality beans. This preserves the rich aroma of real coffee and allows the user to brew a cup of coffee in seconds.
The Premium Instant Coffee is available in three delicious flavors - Original, French Vanilla, and Hazelnut. These contain no artificial flavours or preservatives. The coffee has been thoughtfully packaged in a multi-serve tin, made of infinitely recyclable material, making it a 100 percent sustainable offering, just like Sleepy Owl’s other products.
And so, ticking all boxes is the new Premium Instant Coffee, a manifestation of technological innovation with customer experience at the heart. A product that is sure to anchor forth the brand’s efforts to introduce Indians to the world of Real Good Coffee. The Premium Instant Coffee will furthermore cater to the needs of a variety of coffee drinkers, be it the ones hooked on to their black coffee or the ones who prefer it frothy and milky.
Ashwajeet Singh, Co-founder, Sleepy Owl Coffee said, “The concept of 'Instant Coffee' in India is not merely a function of simplified process and time. It is also a way of socializing and indulging in cultural experiences. And this is where we come in, had it only been about convenience or functionality- there are established players in the market that are already catering to that. But if we are talking about 'Experience', we want people to know what a 'Real Good Instant Coffee' tastes like.”
Ajai Thandi, Co-Founder, Sleepy Owl Coffee said, “Today, our flavored Instant Coffee is made with premium 100 percent Arabica beans and the revolutionary Micro Ground Technology is here to bridge the gap between convenience and experience. This makes this launch all the more critical, as it is also a fundamental part of our initiative to engage with non-coffee drinkers and kick start their coffee journey with a rich, really good cup of coffee brewed in seconds.”
It is priced at Rs 475/100g tin, which makes up to 50 cups. These tins, alongside Sleepy Owl’s official website, will be available for purchase across all major online marketplaces and will also be retailed offline via Foodhall, Modern Bazaar, Nature’s Basket, to name a few.
Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. (HCPL), the parent company of Mamaearth, The Derma Co., and the fastest-growing personal care House of Brands, closed the latest $52 million round led by Sequoia, accelerating the company’s leadership in the D2C personal care segment.
The round witnessed participation by Sofina Ventures SA, the Belgium-based investment company, and Evolvence, a UAE-based India-focused fund. The round also gave employees an opportunity to monetize their vested ESOP.
The company plans to deploy the funds towards expanding its portfolio of personal care D2C brands venturing into new avenues with unique propositions. With the recent launch of Aqualogica, a hydration-based skincare brand, the company has forayed into a new segment catering to unique requirements of Indian skin and tropical weather.
The newly acquired funds will be directed towards product innovation, distribution, and marketing of brands in Honasa’s stable. Along with launching new brands, Honasa will continue aggressively expanding distribution for existing brands -Mamaearth and The Derma Co. and explore strategic inorganic growth opportunities in beauty and personal care segment.
Varun Alagh, Co-Founder and CEO, Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. said, “We have been on a constant quest to become a company that is the first choice of evolving Indian millennials in the beauty and personal care segment. Our flagship brand, Mamaearth has established itself as a leader in D2C personal care with a strong purpose of Goodness Inside. Looking at the scale of Mamaearth and the success of The Derma Co., we are confident that we have the expertise to build brands with a millennial connect.”
“We will be deploying the funds towards brand launches, expanding distribution, inorganic growth, and expanding the current portfolio across borders. Sequoia, Sofina, and Evolvence have unique strengths in US, Europe, and GCC respectively which will help us grow internationally and learn from others in these markets," he added.
Ghazal Alagh, Co-Founder and CIO, Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. said, “Our company is built on the proposition of Honest, Natural and Safe and that has contributed to the exponential growth of Mamaearth as consumers buy into the philosophy of the brand while purchasing the product. Millennials' personal care concerns are dynamic and with our Direct-to-Consumer approach, we are updated on the changing consumer demands. With this thought, we have been able to build an extensive portfolio of products across baby care, skincare, haircare, and color cosmetics under Mamaearth and a portfolio of 40+ products under The Derma Co. The launch of Aqualogica is an extension of our philosophy of millennial problem-solving products.”
“With the launch of Aqualogica, we are the first ones to launch a brand on the Noble prize-winning Aquaporins-based approach to hydration and the brand is already showing great receptivity by the consumers. The recent round will empower us to fuel our innovation funnel and provide a wider assortment of problem-solving personal care products for millennials we closed will further provide impetus to our innovation funnel and help us serve our consumers with a wider assortment of products,” she added.
Ishaan Mittal, MD, Sequoia India said, “As discovery and consumption of FMCG brands is getting more influenced by digital channels, it is providing a unique opportunity to founders to build brands of the future. Mamaearth has established itself as a clear market leader in this digital-first consumer goods space and team Sequoia is delighted to double-down on the partnership with Ghazal and Varun in this journey.”
Rohit Batra, Managing Partner, Evolvence Capital, said, “We have been very impressed with the remarkable growth that Honasa has witnessed and the deep connection and trust it has established with its customers. We believe the GCC market will be very receptive to the Honasa brands, especially Mamaearth and initial signs have been very encouraging as we scale in the region.”
Yana Kachurina, Investment Manager, Sofina Ventures SA, said, “We have been privileged to witness the spectacular growth of the company over the last few months, which only reinforces our initial view that Honasa is led by exceptional entrepreneurs and boasts best-in-class brand building and innovation capabilities”
Skippi Ice Pops - India’s 01st Ice Popsicle brand - received funding of a whopping Rs 10 million for 15 percent equity in the 1st edition of Shark Tank India aired on Sony Entertainment Television.
Led by Kabra Global Products Pvt. Ltd., India, Skippi Ice Pops was launched with an aim to introduce a fun new product in the F&B category by husband and wife duo, Ravi Kabra and Anuja Kabra.
Skippi Ice Pops created history becoming the 1st brand on Shark Tank India to receive an 'All Shark Deal'.
Impressed by the pitch and the product, Skippi Icepops received backing from all 5 sharks - Ashneer Grover, MD, and Co-Founder, Bharat Pe, Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO, Shaddi.com, Aman Gupta, Co-Founder and CMO, boat, Vineeta Singh, CEO and Co-Founder, SUGAR Cosmetics, NamitaThapar, Executive Director and Emcure Pharmaceuticals.
Skippi Ice Pops is here to bring back a part of our childhood while allowing parents to introduce one of the most loved treats to their children with a product that is 100 percent natural and created with stringent hygiene standards.
Ravi Kabra, Co-Founder of Skippi Ice pops said, “We are delighted to receive funding from Shark Tank India, it is a testament to our idea of creating disruption in the F&B industry with innovation and research. We plan to invest this amount to drive more innovation and introduce more refreshing flavors to the Indian market.”
Currently available for purchase in six exciting flavors; Raspberry, Orange, Cola, Mango Twist, Bubblegum, and Lemon, across all major online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Qtrove, and at several states with distributor chain.
The brand is currently available in over 660 outlets in Hyderabad alone, 2,200 outlets across India, and continue to grow. It is priced at Rs 240 for a paper box of 12 pops with 6 flavors and Rs 666 for a bag of 36 pops.
CosIQ, a four-month-old skincare start-up has bagged funding of Rs. 5 million in its seed round from Shark Tank India in their fourth episode on 23rd December.
The four-month-old start-up is the brainchild of Kanika Talwar and her husband. It is a budding molecular skincare brand that offers a range of scientifically-backed products with visible results. Judges of Shark Tank India Vineeta Singh, CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics, and Anupam Mittal, Founder and CEO, Shaadi.com – Peoples Group has invested in the skincare brand against 25 percent share of the company.
Angad Talwar, Co-Founder, CosIQ said, “Getting the seed funds from Shark Tank India is a validation of our idea to create a revolution in the skincare industry with clinically proven and research-driven products. We plan to invest this amount to drive more innovation and bring cutting-edge ingredients with safe formulations to the Indian market.”
The brand already offers breakthrough formulas with all active ingredients and their percentages mentioned on the labels that distinguish them from the competition. The brand is changing the skincare industry landscape with products backed by effective clinical technologies, focusing on clean ingredients with minimalist formulations that give real results. Their only 2 ingredient Vit-C serum is the first in the Indian market and their sunscreen comes in a serum form, which highly impressed Vineeta on the show.
As per a report, the skincare products market was valued at Rs 129.76 Bn in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.22 percent during the 2021 - 2025 period, to reach a value of Rs 191.09 billion by 2025. The rise in the incidence of skin diseases and increased focus on self-care, along with improved awareness regarding skin health among people are a few of the significant factors that propel market growth. The skincare products market in India is categorized into face, body, sun care, and other skincare products segments.
With the increasing pollution and lifestyle issues, effective skincare is becoming very important in today’s time. Therefore, brands like CosIQ offering scientifically proven solutions that are inherently different from all the natural-based products from other brands and give real, tangible results are gaining a lot of customer appreciation.
Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. (HCPL), the parent company of Mamaearth and The Derma Co., and the fastest-growing House of Brands for personal care has acquired female-oriented content platform, Momspresso, and associated influencer-engagement platform, MomspressoMyMoney.
The acquisition accelerates engagement with consumers to further strengthen content-to-commerce. The acquisition is an extension of a successful partnership with Momspresso for content, influencer engagement, and commerce.
The experience of the founding team and capabilities of the platform show immense potential in expanding a content platform that enlightens, educates, and supports consumers in making informed decisions through high quality, user-generated content in beauty, health, fashion, lifestyle, pregnancy, motherhood, and kids. Momspresso also runs MyMoney, a unique platform for micro-influencers to engage with consumers in the new-age economy.
Founded in 2010, Momspresso has emerged as one of Indias largest and most engaged communities of women. Through this acquisition, Momspressoand MyMoneywill provides HCPL with a platform to connect with 60,000content-creators in 10 languages, an engaged community of 30Mn women, and 2,00,000+ micro-influencers connected to 50Mn consumers, thereby enabling HCPL to directly connect with creators, communities, and consumers.
Following the acquisition, Momspresso will continue to function independently and the founding team with Co-founder, and CEO Vishal Gupta, Co-founder & CTO Asif Mohamed, and Co-founder & COO Prashant Sinha will continue to lead the operations and manage the business as an independent entity. Momspresso will deploy the funds received through the acquisition, towards enhancing the team, building data-science capability, and investing in technology to drive scale and efficiencies.
Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. has established itself at the forefront of the D2C segment and this acquisition will further strengthen their data-driven, digital-first marketing approach.
Varun Alagh, Co-Founder and CEO, Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd. said,” We have experienced exponential growth due to our constant connect with community and consumers and the partnership with Momspresso will further scale up our creator network. Content-driven commerce has been on an upsurge and we are confident that the capabilities that the team brings will help accelerate our content-to-commerce strategy, in an efficient and smart way to support our marketing investments and brand building. This fundamental shift will allow us to cultivate stronger associations with existing and new creators and communities.”
Vishal Gupta, Co-founder, and CEO said “At Momspresso, India’s leading content and influencer platform for women, we’re delighted to align forces with Honasa, which has established itself as the foremost DTC player in the country. Together, we are uniquely positioned to unlock synergies in creating compelling content for the commerce playbook. The possibilities are immense, and we are greatly excited at what lies ahead.”
Sirona Hygiene has raised Rs 100 crore (approximately $13.5 million) in funding by The Good Glamm Group.
With this funding, the early investors in Sirona get a 6x to 20x exit from the company.
Deep Bajaj, Founder, and CEO, Sirona hygiene said, “After announcing the acquisition of Miss Malini, The Good Glamm Group announced it has invested Rs 100 crore in Delhi-based Sirona Hygiene. With this funding, Sirona's early investors have taken exit with 6x to 20x returns.”
This is also one of the largest amounts invested in a Series B round for a DTC female hygiene startup. The Good Glamm Group, founded by Darpan Sanghvi, Priyanka Gill, and Naiyya Saggi, will be investing an additional Rs 100 crore over the next two years in the brand.
Darpan Sanghvi, Co-founder, and Group CEO, The Good Glamm Group said, "Not only have we invested in Sirona, but Bajaj has also invested in the Good Glamm Group in his personal capacity. While the amount of funding in the Good Glamm Group is undisclosed, I can say the amount is sizeable. There is a partnership and synergy between the brands and their founders. It isn't a regular investor-investee relationship."
This strategic investment from the Good Glamm Group marks its entry into the hygiene category. In addition to raising fresh capital, Sirona will use the group’s proprietary digital assets to reach out to and educate women on the issues around feminine hygiene — this includes POPxo, ScoopWhoop, BabyChakra, and Plixxo.
"Sirona is already has a Rs 75 crore run rate, and Bajaj and I have a strong vision of how we can get it to a Rs 500 crore run rate. This isn't easy in the menstrual hygiene category, especially with Sirona working to disrupt the category," Darpan added.
In addition to this unparalleled digital reach, Sirona will leverage the group’s 30,000 offline retail points of sale to distribute their intimate hygiene products. Sirona will also be able to use the group’s deep expertise in DTC growth, new product development, and technology and data science.
Bajaj further added, "Our aspiration is to keep disrupting in the category. We have had a strong alignment on values. It is not like we did not have the option to raise funding. We had multiple term sheets. But we wanted people who believe in the problem. Darpan's vision to disrupt his space and our vision aligned. We have been growing at 100 percent year on year. But the last two quarters have been interesting for us. We will be closing a Rs 100 crore run rate soon."
Pee Safe, a hygiene and wellness brand, has introduced new products under its exclusive beauty and skincare range FURR ahead of the holiday season.
From face serums, charcoal nose strips, and jade rollers, and Gua Sha to a winter care kit including essential oils and body wash, there is a whole variety of products to choose from.
Pee Safe has been constantly strengthening its portfolio with new launches in accordance with the emerging demand trends. The brand currently has a strong pan-India footprint in over 10,000+ stores and 150+ cities apart from four retail outlets in Gurgaon, Bhubaneshwar, Bengaluru, and Ahmedabad. Pee Safe will be launching 50 such offline stores in the next 12 months.
According to estimates, the Indian beauty and personal care industry attained a value of Rs 54,558 crore in 2020. It is further expected to grow at a CAGR of 11 percent in the forecast period of 2022-2027. Pee Safe’s recent product launch is commensurate with this growth as well as the fact that the brand’s study of demand and preference trends among its TG.
Vikas Bagaria, Founder and CEO at Pee Safe, said, “Caring for the skin is important to round the year, especially during the winter months. The new products under the FURR range, therefore, come at the right time. We have introduced essential oils and more personal care products under FURR and these have been specially curated with a blend of unique and sensational ingredients. Pee Safe has always strived to be where its customers are and introduce products that are in consonance with what their needs are. Going forward, our customers can look forward to more such launches.”
The FURR range of face serums has been formulated for various purposes – from acne and exfoliation to daily repair, skin illuminating, and hydration. They contain extracts of natural ingredients like sea algae, licorice root, aloe vera, oatmeal, green tea, witch hazel, tea tree leaf oil, etc.
The FURR Charcoal Nose Strips are infused with Aloe Vera and Tea Tree Oil that naturally reduce blackheads, whiteheads, oil, and dirt, keeping the nose clean and fresh at all times. They are paraben and sulfate-free, gentle on the skin, and suitable for all skin types.
Join Ventures, house of D2C brands for celebrations announced the expansion of its large-scale warehousing facility at Jaipur by 50,000 square feet to strengthen its already impressive fulfillment infrastructure of 3 mother warehouses and 20 dark stores.
The company also envisions making its warehouses smart by automating inbound, internal product handling, and outbound movement of products while minimizing human involvement.
Join Ventures believes that Tier ll cities are the new warehousing hotspots and plans to reach 1 million square feet in warehousing space by 2024, with Jaipur warehouse as the operations hub.
Tarun Joshi, Founder, and CEO, Join Ventures, said, “There are more than 140 million online buyers who are currently generating 3 billion+ occasions led searches in India. This points to an immense market opportunity in the celebration ecosystem, and we aim to capture a large share of this underserved market. With such a vision in sight, streamlining processes and automating our supply chain is the way forward for us.”
“We are currently bolstering our logistic infrastructure through warehouse expansions with a vision of 1 million square feet by 2024 that will support 120+ new dark stores across India,” he added.
Join Ventures had also recently announced its plan to set up 100 new dark stores across India to help its portfolio brands IGP.com, Interflora.in, IGP for Business and Masqa better service the celebration ecosystem across the country. The warehouse expansion in Jaipur to support the new 100 planned dark stores will also help the company to further move the distribution process of its portfolio brands in-house for better quality control and assured timely delivery.
The warehouse expansion has also streamlined logistics and package handling for Join Ventures’ portfolio brands, increasing the delivery capacity for the company by 4 to 5 times while creating a more efficient order flow from the company’s artisanal supply chain to the end customer. Furthermore, the additional warehouse space is helping Join Ventures to install automation systems to increase efficiency, reduce the cost of operation and time of delivery.
Beauty and personal care e-commerce platform Purplle has acquired cosmetics and skincare brand, Faces Canada. Both the companies are backed by Sequoia Capital.
The acquisition comes after Purplle raised $60 million last month from Premji Invest, the Manish Taneja, Co-founder, and CEO of Purplle family office of Wipro founder-chairman Azim Premji, valuing the direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand at $630 million. Weeks prior to that, the company had mopped up $75 million from Kedaara Capital
"With a strong existing portfolio, this acquisition will elevate our makeup portfolio with international high-quality innovative products. We will jointly scale to the next level tapping a diverse set of consumers," Manish Taneja, Co-founder, and Chief Executive of Purplle.com, said.
In March, the company raised $45 million (about Rs 330 crore) from investors led by Sequoia Capital India and existing backers including Verlinvest, Blume Ventures, and JSW Ventures.
It had raised $30 million in Series C funding, led by Goldman Sachs, at the end of 2019. The company is looking at multiple other tuck-in acquisitions to scale up its presence in the beauty space. Founded in 2012 by Taneja and Rahul Dash, Purplle's own beauty brands include Good Vibes, NY Bae, and Purplle. It has seven million monthly active users.
Kunal Gupta, Chief Executive of Faces Canada said, "Through this partnership, we aim to amplify our shared values, resources and reach untapped pockets of the country. The synergy will further our agenda of building the most comfortable international quality cosmetics accessible for Indian consumers."
Faces will continue to operate independently and extend its existing portfolio under Purplle.com. Purplle has a catalog of more than 1,000 brands and 50,000 offerings across categories including makeup, skincare, haircare, personal care, fragrances, and grooming appliances.
The platform expects to end the ongoing financial year with an annualized Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) run rate of Rs 1,400 crore, according to a statement.
Amaara Herbs, a herb-based brand, based out of Delhi has recently raised a seed funding round, co-led by Faad Network and O2 Angels Network which also saw participation from IA. Lead sourcing partner was FUNDTQ.
Amaara plans to expand the markets of its operation (domestic and international), strengthen distribution channels along with plans of product expansion both horizontally and vertically in near future.
"Herbal blend market has gained significant acceptability and is likely to reach US$ 4.88 billion by 2028 as per estimate. Knowledge of herbs is one of the critical aspects to be taken into account. Rupan ventured into the herbs business at a young age and launched the brand 'Amaara Herbs'. Promoter’s knowledge and passion, revenue-generating business model, large market size, existing products quality supported our investment thesis," stated Rajesh Ranjan - Founder, O2 Angels Network.
Amaara Herbs is aiming at increasing the discoverability, consumption, and adoption of organic brews and lattes as the first beverage. It is a marketplace dedicated to everything organic.
Rupan Oberoi, Founder of Amaara Herbs said, “The platform works tirelessly to find the best herbs produce and bring to their customers the best organic drinks of their preferences. We understand the importance of herbs on your health and also spread awareness on how these herbs can be beneficial if adopted in daily regime.”
Amaara herbs started its mission to offer quality products of natural herbs to all tea lovers in the year 2018 and started their operations in 2019 by offering a diverse range of herbal superfoods including Ashwagandha, Gokshura, Brahmi, Satavari, etc. along with other varied herbs. All products are herbal and natural with no additives. The product offering is unique and the brand does not have any direct competition for the products it offers.
With a good understanding of herbs, Amaara has created a niche in the segment by serving over 20,000 customers through the direct-to-consumer (D2C) model. The startup is selling its products in the US, and it aims to enter the UK market soon.
“Herbs are native to India. We wanted to bring these traditional herbs to our modern era. They are the next 'it' product. Our blends are tasty with the highest efficacy," asserted Oberoi.
On average Indians are accustomed to at least 3-4 cups of hot brews (tea/ coffee) in a day. However, a health-conscious new generation is scouting for alternatives i.e. healthy and tasty hot and cold brews. Brand's herbal blends suit their taste buds and are emerging as one of the most sought out alternatives.
Vedic Cosmeceuticals, a private label manufacturer of personal care products raised Rs 25 crore as Series A round of capital from Sixth Sense Ventures.
The company manufactures personal care products for Indian cosmetic brands including Nykaa, Moms Co., Sirona, and Arata with a fifth of their current production exported to Europe.
“Vedic Cosmeceuticals has grown steadily in the last few years, with accelerated growth since 2017. With a plethora of beauty and skincare options available in the market, the challenge which D2C (Direct-to-Consumer) brands face today is sourcing clean beauty products which are ethically produced," said Mohit Goel, Founder, Vedic Cosmeceuticals.
“We aim to utilize the raised funds to expand our outreach to newer markets and global clientele, and considerably scale up operations and take our R&D to the next level," Goel further stated.
Founded by Goel in 2004, Vedic Cosmeceuticals has grown from being a contract manufacturer for a single brand in 2004 to over 50 brands in 2021. The company said it plans to triple its monthly production capacity from 300 metric tonnes to 1000 metric tonnes.
"With the emergence and proliferation of direct-to-consumer beauty and personal care brands, contract research and manufacturing in the sector becomes critical. Vedic is our vehicle to capture the tremendous growth that we envisage in the manufacture of beauty and personal care," said Nikhil Vora, Founder of Sixth Sense Ventures.
The beauty and personal care industry in India is a $13 billion industry, within which the fastest growing trend is clean beauty and is expected to reach $2 billion by 2025.
Frangipani, a popular kidswear label has raised series A funding from G.O.A.T Brand Labs.
Frangipani, a Mumbai-based kidswear label, preferred by many Bollywood celebrity parents, is one of the first partnerships that G.O.A.T Brand Labs has ventured into.
Founded in 2012, as a small business from home, Frangipani was born out of both necessity and opportunity. As new mothers, Sunaina and Mansi struggled to find Indian brands that provided quality clothing for their children at affordable prices. They decided to leave their high-profile jobs and embark on the path of building a household name for kids clothing
The Indian kidswear market is estimated to be $35 billion by 2025, the first quarter of 2021 has witnessed unprecedented growth in D2C homegrown start-up brands that have raised over $250 million from VC investors. Frangipani aims to grow at least 5x in the next 3 years.
The stakeholders from the two companies will join forces to expand the brand presence across the length and breadth of India and also set foot in new international markets. G.O.A.T Brand Labs will act as an extended arm of Frangipani with their valuable expertise in digital marketing, operations, and channel expansion. The brand plans to optimally utilize the funds raised for growth capital and exponentially grow the brand presence locally and globally.
Frangipani has set a yardstick in the kidswear market by combining an international design philosophy with locally sourced and manufactured products. Crafted and designed using the highest quality fabrics, their range of clothing is comfortable, sustainable, and durable. It caters to young aspirational moms, who are looking to choose high-quality, local brands for themselves and their kids.
Tiger Global and Flipkart Ventures-backed G.O.A.T Brand Labs is all set to take D2C brands to the next level. G.O.A.T Brand Labs, a venture which started a few months back, acquires and scales D2C brands. The current acquisitions are in the Fashion, Beauty-Skin Care, Pets, and Home-Kitchen categories.
Rishi Vasudev, Co-founder, and CEO of G.O.A.T Brand Labs said, “Each of our acquisitions is special, so we will unveil them one at a time. I am extremely excited to announce Frangipani as our first investment. Sunaina and Mansi, Frangipani’s founders, have built their businesses with great love and care. They have a very loyal base of consumers, including many Bollywood stars and their kids. Together we will take this proposition to a much bigger audience with speed and efficiency. Kidswear is a market of great importance for us, and this is just our first step in that direction.”
Sunaina Patel, the Co-founder, and CEO of Frangipani said, “From the first conversation we had with G.O.A.T. Brand Labs the synergy matched with similar goals and aims. We shared the same growth philosophy and believed that the operational expertise of their team could provide incredible value to our business. For G.O.A.T. Brand Labs, we were not just another brand in their portfolio, and it wasn’t just about numbers and valuation, it was an understanding of the value and potential of our brand. With the growth capital and operational support provided by the team, we hope to quickly realize Frangipani’s future potential of being a 100-crore brand.”
Mansi Kilachand, the Co-founder and COO of Frangipani said, “As new mothers, Sunaina and I struggled to find Indian brands that provided quality clothing for our children at affordable prices. We decided to leave our corporate jobs and embark on an adventurous journey of building a household name for kid's clothing. We are so glad that G.O.A.T. Brand Labs believed in our vision and embarked on this journey with us.”
Home to Baby category brand - Haus & Kinder has raised $1.3 million (Rs 10 Crore) in a pre-series A funding round led by investor Shaival Desai.
Entrepreneur, Saket Dhankar, introduced the brand in 2018 with a vision to disrupt the home and baby space with a design-led lifestyle brand. Today, Haus & Kinder stands by their promise to deliver trendy home, baby, and kids essentials at a fair price.
In the last 3 years, the husband-wife duo of Saket Dhankar and Kanupriya Anand has built a design-centric brand that caters to the new-age moms and their homes. Haus & Kinder, which has seen demand for its cotton bedsheets and muslin swaddles skyrocket amid the pandemic, is looking to raise a further $5 million (about Rs 35 crore) in a Series A funding round early next year.
The company will use the capital to strengthen its brand and accelerate new product launches in the home and newborn baby category. In 3 years, Haus & Kinder has grown to 400-odd SKUs in bedsheet, towels, and baby swaddles segments and has served more than two million consumers across 300 cities in India as well as in UAE.
Commenting on the brand growth, Founder Saket Dhankar, said, “Haus & Kinder is now a market leader in the online bedsheets category. With a clear market opportunity in Home and Baby Essentials space, we shall be a D2C brand positioned on design and will scale up fast.”
Investor Shaival Desai, said, “We are impressed with what the Haus & Kinder brand has achieved in the last 3 years in a bootstrapped manner and truly believe in the brand‘s future potential to design impactful products for the Indian millennial moms. We are delighted to be part of Haus & Kinder’s journey.”
D2C fashion brand Bewakoof has launched a curated marketplace welcoming fun, expressive and unique brands like themselves.
The brand has signed up over 150 brands like Chumbak, Mad Over Print, Brown Mocha, Fugazee, Peri Pai, Fighting Fame, Urban Estilo, HueTrap, Style Quotient, Dilinger, Smugglerz, Clovia, Noise, Boat, Campus Sutra, Ustraa, Difference of Opinion and many more.
Bewakoof aims to generate Rs 500 crore in brand sales from the marketplace in the next 12 months. The marketplace is live with the fashion, innerwear, personal audio, beauty, and accessories categories. Bewakoof plans to launch home decor in FY22.
Prabhkiran Singh, Founder CEO, Bewakoof, says, “Bewakoof is partnering with other goofy hatke brands to be our Humsafar with the objective of offering our end consumers deep access to curated fun expressive brand options across fashion, home, accessories, and beauty. Our aim is to become India’s biggest platform for creative merchandise.”
“The D2C wave is birthing lots of very interesting alternate exciting brands but they don’t necessarily get relevant visibility or are presented in the right ambiance. Regular marketplaces are very algorithmic price-driven generics. Our focus is brands that speak to consumers’ hearts and niche focussed at meeting unmet but important gaps in the market, ” he added.
The idea behind creating a curated marketplace came from the fact that Bewakoof as a brand stands for hatke products which are expressive, unique, and believes in not taking things too seriously. Bewakoof aims to create a marketplace for brands with similar ethos who want to get discovered by a customer base that has a point of view on things and doesn't shy away from sharing it with the World. Here’s what our brand partners are saying about getting listed and discovered on Bewakoof curated expressions marketplace.
Nishant Bakliwal, Co-founder Brown Mocha, says, “The marketplace at Bewakoof.com helped us scale and reach our desired target audience by allowing us to leverage their expertise in logistics and marketing.”
Anurag Srivastava, Founder Mad Over Print, says, “Mad over print as a brand draws shoppers who won't settle for mediocrity and are mad about uber-cool printed products. We observe transparency and harmony in the marketplace curated by Bewakoof. The vibe of MOP &Bewakoof matches at the perfect level as both the brands have fresh cool ideas, support vocal for local and originally made in India.”
Gaurav Khatri, Co-founder, Noise says, "This association with Bewakoof.com will accelerate our vision to reach out to more and more customers and provide them with the best of technology. We have always lived up to our expectation of democratizing technology and this is an extension of our commitment to our consumers. As a brand, Bewakoof.com believes in adding lightheartedness to life through its self-expressive products and fun shopping experiences and that is what we as a brand believe in. As both home-grown brands, we understand that this partnership will strengthen our position in the market."
Vivek Gambhir, CEO boAt, says, “At boAt, we have been continuously working on expanding our market share and product visibility across all fronts, offline and online. We are happy to collaborate with a platform like Bewakoof.com that shares a similar brand ethos with regards to the product offerings for our ever-dynamic consumers. The partnership speaks for both the brand’s millennial and Gen-Z audience who are always on the lookout for quirky yet durable products."
Rahul Anand, CEO Ustraa, “We are building a men's focused grooming brand, and coming together on Bewakoof's curated marketplace will further allow us to build this category, as it will open up new frontier across customer segments. Bewakoof.com, a curated and creative marketplace partnership shall help in gaining a new customer base."
Yogesh Kabra, Founder XYXX Innerwear, says, “Marketplaces have made aspirational products and brands sell like commodities. DTC brands need representation that puts experience and community as a priority. Bewakoof helps us bridge this gap. They understand youth and their requirement better than any other brand and hence we are really excited to partner with them on the new marketplace.”
The company plans to curate over 500 such brands on the marketplace in the next 12 months.
D2C beauty and personal care brand Pilgrim, which makes borderless beauty experiences accessible and affordable, today released exclusive brand insights and data from their consumer trends survey.
The survey, which covers more than 10 cities across the country revealed interesting data on consumer preferences for beauty and skincare products.
The survey shows a clear preference for clean beauty products as more than 75 percent of consumers wanted their skincare products to be free of sulphates and parabens. The brand survey also revealed that most of the respondents who preferred clean beauty products were women and men in the age group of 25-35.
The clean beauty market was valued at $5,439.6 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $1,1558.5 million in 2027, growing at a CAGR of 12.07 percent. (Brand Essence) The global movement for clean beauty and skincare products has also increased the demand for such products in the Indian markets.
The hyper-growing D2C beauty and skincare brand also revealed that they have witnessed 3X growth in revenue in 2021. Out of this, 75 percent of revenue was driven by their Korean beauty range, and the fast-growing French beauty range held a 25 percent share. Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore remained the highest selling states with a total contribution of more than 22 percent in yearly sales. Guwahati topped the sales charts in tier-ll cities with a 4 percent contribution to overall sales.
Anurag Kedia, Co-Founder, and CEO, Pilgrim said, ”The rise in global demand for clean beauty and skincare products has been phenomenal. Indian consumers have also shown a growing appetite for clean and non-toxic offerings. It is interesting to see how the modern millennials and Gen-Zs have spent more on clean beauty than the previous generations.”
“We have also seen an increasing demand for vegan and animal cruelty-free products. Younger generations have played a huge role in this shift and are motivating the previous generations to join this movement. As a brand, we take pride in being 100 percent vegan, animal-friendly, and plastic positive,” he added.
Earlier this year, Pilgrim released a data survey that revealed the growing demand for K-beauty products in the Indian market. The data gave interesting insights on product preferences and the geographical preferences of K-beauty products. The innovative brand, known for its non-toxic and effective product formulations, is now certified by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for being cruelty-free and vegan.
Ananta capital-backed IDAM House Of Brands, a pioneering collective of several D2C brands, with Bella Vita Organic being its hero brand across the portfolio brands, has announced the expansion of its leadership team and management with the appointment of Saahil Nayar as Co-Founder and COO.
Prior to joining IDAM, he was working with The Moms Co. (The Good Glam Group) as the Vice President Business.
Saahil Nayar brings in over 13 years of experience across the fashion and beauty industry working across luxury international brands and premium homegrown brands including Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Ermenegildo Zegna, Revlon, Kama Ayurveda, The Moms Co. amidst others. He specializes in implementing 360-degree entry market strategies for brands and leading their expansions.
He championed the D2C world achieving 3x growth for its brands with a digital-first approach. At IDAM, he will be responsible for the group's portfolio brands expansions and strategy, growth, culture, and marketing.
Aakash Anand, Founder and CEO IDAM House Of Brands said, “His highly organized way of studying, planning, and deep understanding of consumer behavior coupled with his enthusiasm on the product is what will be an enabler in reaching greater heights and building synergies between us. I look forward to achieving many more milestones with him.”
Nayar said, “Our common will to build global homegrown brands and efficient businesses are what binds Aakash and me. I firmly believe that we as a duo of talent, team spirit, and smart work, can set and celebrate new milestones and scale IDAM House Of Brands to Rs 300 crore over the next 2 years.”
Fish and meat delivery firm FreshToHome has unveiled its 6th-anniversary sale giveaway. The platform will give away 6 gold coins each day to its customers.
"Through the offer, FreshToHome acknowledges the constant support of its loyal consumers who have been a pivotal part of the brand’s journey of becoming the number 1 meat and seafood player in India fulfilling 2 million orders every month," the company stated.
The platform plans to push the anniversary sale offer through the app, site, digital, print, and social.
Shan Kadavil, Co-Founder, FreshToHome said, “On completing 6 years of delivering the freshest meat and seafood to customers across India, we at FreshToHome want to thank them for their constant love and support. The giveaway is our way of expressing gratitude to our loyal customers who have contributed to making us the No 1 fish and meat platform in India. With this, we hope to get bigger and better, delivering the freshest fish and meat products to our customers.”
Launched in 2015, FreshToHome claims to provide fresh, chemical-free fish, seafood, and meat and has over 2000+ varieties of products available on their platform which can be conveniently ordered through the mobile app. The platform makes available products directly from farmers, 1500+ fishermen, and farmers across 125 coasts and farms in India.
FreshToHome recently expanded its India operations and extended its services to Lucknow, Nashik, Madurai, and Kolkata after gaining popularity in Bengaluru, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Chandigarh Tricity, and Jaipur. Currently, the brand has around 100 offline stores in India, with a presence in 56 cities. While internationally, the brand plans to expand into Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, and Muscat in Oman.
Furniture and home products marketplace Pepperfry today has announced the appointment of Akhilesh Chitlange as Vice President, Studio Activation.
In his role, Akhilesh would be responsible for leading the organization’s omnichannel efforts across company-Owned Company-Operated (COCO) and Franchise-Owned Franchise-Operated (FOFO) Studio businesses.
The omnichannel model has been one of the strongest growth pillars for Pepperfry over the past few years and the brand has plans to continue expanding its omnichannel presence significantly. Akhilesh’s appointment is effective immediately and will be based out of the Pepperfry Corporate Office in Mumbai.
In the last 2 years, Pepperfry Studios have emerged as a key touchpoint for consumer engagement and a great marketing channel. Currently, Pepperfry has a studio footprint across 57 cities in India with 110+ studios and aims to reach 200 Studios by March 2022.
The offline expansion is in line with the company’s aim to penetrate niche markets and offer the largest furniture and home products catalogue in the country. These studios are experience centres that offer customers a first-hand experience of various types of woods, materials, colour, and fabric swatches that helps them make the right purchase decision.
Ashish Shah, Co-Founder, and Chief Operating Officer, Pepperfry said, “Studio Pepperfry is a key growth driver of our business and already contributes to around 40 percent to our topline. We want to continue expanding our footprint by deepening our presence in top markets through our own stores and bringing in more entrepreneurial spirit into the business through our Franchisee Program in Tier-I and Tier-II cities.”
“As we accelerate, Akhilesh’s business acumen and expertise in managing complex sales systems across large FMCG companies will help us bring consistency and excellence in providing a great customer experience across 100s of studios spread across the country. We welcome Akhilesh to the Pepperfry team and wish him great success in his endeavours,” he added.
Akhilesh Chitlange, Vice President –Studio Activations, Pepperfry said, “I'm excited to be a part of Pepperfry's journey. The company has undisputedly built the largest omnichannel business in the furniture and home products segment in India. This is a great opportunity for me to help develop a future-proof business team and drive revenue growth in line with the company’s vision. Look forward to growing with the team onward and upward.”
Akhilesh will be working closely with the leadership team to build a world-class omnichannel sales system that delivers better business results and customer experience. With a career spanning over 10 years, Akhilesh has covered a wide spectrum of Business & Corporate roles spanning Channel Sales, Trade Marketing, Sales Development verticals in the FMCG space.
Prior to joining Pepperfry, Akhilesh was the Trade Marketing Head at Marico Limited. Previously, he has also worked with GSK Consumer Healthcare India and Britannia Industries Limited. Akhilesh is a post-graduate in Sales & Marketing and holds a degree in Chemical Engineering.
The daily routine of millennials has been impacted due to their hectic schedule. As per industry data, 80 percent of adults fall short of their prescribed Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of protein by 20g.
Since protein builds an individual’s entire body and also repairs its cells and tissues, it is important to consume adequate amounts of protein. For adding wholesome dietary goodness to the lives of Gen Y, Auric – a leading D2C Ayurveda brand – has launched its latest product, the plant-based Protein Powder with a unique Ayurvedic Protein Blend of Wheat and Pea Protein.
With the new launch, Auric has augmented its product line while helping combat protein deficiency shortfalls within the country. The company wants to raise awareness among people about the proper daily intake of protein and make it an indispensable part of their daily diet. Consuming proteins at regular intervals should not be linked solely to athletic needs. Rather, it is about improving the overall physique and increasing the body’s cell recovery.
Deepak Agarwal, Founder, Auric said, “We’ve always strived to introduce Ayurveda in the daily lives of millennials through bigger and better products. Our protein powder is yet another step in creating innovative and convenient lifestyle products by blending Ayurveda with the benefits of modern science. The protein powder will add immense value by providing natural food fortification and help Millennials meet their daily nutritional requirements.”
The protein powder is available in three delicious flavors – Dark Chocolate, Badam Kesar, and Vanilla Coffee. All three variants get their sweetness from unadulterated sulfur-free Sugar called Desi Khand - also mentioned in Ayurvedic texts.
“It is the simplest protein drink mix in the market since it is made with just four ingredients – Pea (Pisum Sativum), Wheat (Triticum), Desi Khand, and Natural Flavour. Since there are no chemicals, preservatives, emulsifiers, stabilizers, or other harmful ingredients, it is a clean product with pure natural nutrition,” Agarwal added.
The unique hassle-free Ayurvedic Plant Protein dissolves easily in milk and water without upsetting the stomach lining making it one of the safest and easily digestible proteins available over the counter.
Catering to their belief, Ayurveda for Millennials, Auric launched protein in single-serve sachets, making it extremely convenient to carry and consume on the go. Users can add an Auric protein sachet to water or milk as per choice and then consume it as a snack or breakfast. Every sachet contains at least 20g protein and 6g BCAA.
Organic personal care brand, Plantas recently launched in India. The company is committed to bringing in this world a pure and world-class certified organic personal care brand. During the launch, Bollywood actress, Sonakshi Sinha marked her presence.
“Examining the success stories of the homegrown, cruelty-free brands, I realized that the modern consumer was overwhelmed with choices and hence, a greater need to differentiate, evolve yet stay relevant. With extensive global experience and deep appreciation of natural resources helped us envision a brand that amalgamates science with innovation elevates the beauty ecosystem, defining a new realm of wellness, PLANTAS,” Gautam Dhar, Director of Plantas, said.
The company offers a varied range of products across basic categories such as face care, hair care, eye care, body and multipurpose well-being.
"I am very excited to be a part of this cruelty-free vegan beauty brand that promises to deliver the best of all. It is wonderful to see how the team has come up with a concept of organic beauty that not only safeguards the ecosystem but also preserves the youth of the consumers. I am delighted to be introducing the brand to the Indian consumers, " Sonakshi Sinha expressed.
According to the company’s official statement, it is certified by EcoCert, which is an organic certification company based in France and the most recognized globally. The company also claims to have Cosmos V3.1 at its organic cosmetic certification level.
“With more and more young and eco-conscious consumers across the country shifting their choices towards the unparalleled benefits of organic ingredients, we look forward to well-positioning ourselves to emerge as the pioneer in this clean beauty space. I want to utilize my experience, insights and vision to help PLANTAS change the landscape of the Indian beauty industry and redefine the concept of beauty and bliss,” Dhar added.
D2C personal and home care products startup, Clensta has raised over Rs 20 crore in Series A funding from Hem Angels part of Hem Securities Limited, Venture Catalysts, and Inflection Point Ventures. N+1 Capital (RBF), the existing investors along with other marquee investors also invested in this funding round.
According to the company’s official statement, the funds raised will be used to scale up the company's sales, ramp up brand marketing and expand its online and offline presence across India. The brand has achieved a CAGR of over 130 percent and aims to earn Rs 1000 crore revenues in the next 5 years.
“Over the next five years, D2C brands present at least a $100 billion opportunity. Clensta has been quick to capitalize on the product, innovation and price white space. There is no better time than now for Clensta to get off their growth plan and take their product to the next level, witnessing a rapid acceleration of scale,” Gaurav Jain, Director of Hem Angels, said.
The five-year-old start-up was founded by Puneet Gupta in 2016. It started with the flagship products based on waterless technology (waterless body bath & Shampoo) to enable bathing without the use of water.
“D2C wave is birthing many innovative and disruptive brands. Clensta takes the innovation further with the introduction of waterless tech in their products. Their understanding of the fast-growing D2C segment and a varied range of products in the personal care impressed our investors to lead this round,” Mitesh Shah, Co-Founder at Inflection Point Ventures, said.
The company has a presence in B2B and B2B2C segments. Besides this, it is tapping into the D2C segment with its super cleansers. It also plans to launch an innovative technology-based personal care category.
“At Cleansta, our ethos revolves around innovation, science, and customer-centricity. Developing innovative technology has been one of the company’s foremost attributes ever since its inception. Keeping in the mind the Indian home care market size of $6.2 billion, we have adopted an omnichannel strategy to ensure the company’s presence in offline as well as online markets,” Puneet Gupta, Founder and CEO of Clensta, said.
The company asserts to have registered 20X growth in five years. Pankaj Mittal, CFO at Clensta executed the entire financial transaction. Khaitan & Co acted as legal advisors to the company.
Organic food brand, Naario has raised an undisclosed sum in pre-seed funding from a group of angel investors led by women entrepreneurs, according to the company’s official statement.
Anamika Pandey founded Naario in 2021; the organic food company that sells organic cereals, condiments, and beverages. Some of the notable members of the group of angel investors included Sairee Chahal of Sheroes, Harshita Singh of Times Prime, Ankit Mehrotra of Dineout, amongst others.
"The pre-seed funding would help Naario invest in brand building, develop tech-based solutions to scale operations and expand distribution channels as it chases growth in a highly fragmented D2C market," the company said in its official statement.
"Naario was built with the mission to touch the lives of millions of women who have talent but no resources to realize their dreams. Ever since the launch, Naario has grown fast and this round of funding will help us to move rapidly in a highly competitive market," said Pandey, founder and CEO of Naario, said.
Naario has expanded its product range from four to seven and is now present in more than 10 states. The current product portfolio includes the 9-in-1 flour mix, all-rounder garam masala, classic muesli and rose sherbet, to name a few.
"Our strategic investment in Naario is in line with our endeavor to create a wide and diverse ecosystem of women entrepreneurs, who are working towards supporting women and their aspirations," Chahal said.
Pepperfry, which is a homegrown furniture and home products marketplace, has announced the appointment of Ruchir Aswal as Vice President of Product (Business). Aswal has over 13 years of experience in business and product management, having worked for global brands like Jio, Intuit, Nium, Shaadi.com and Rediff.com. Before joining Pepperfry, he was associated as an angel investor/consultant for startups like Goodify, qonsept, ethnic, and squeakee, etc.
“At Pepperfry, our goal is to spark a feeling called home amongst consumers by democratizing the furniture and home products category in the country. Even as we continue to scale up our existing business, provide a seamless experience to our stakeholders, we are also working hard to expand into adjacent categories. Technology will be a key differentiator and I am certain Ruchir with his vast experience and perspective will accelerate Pepperfry’s journey,” Ashish Shah, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Pepperfry, said.
The company has a unique marketplace model which brings together merchants and customers who interact with several small and leading brands, including 10 D2C private labels that are owned by Pepperfry. Pepperfry asserts to have an ecosystem that is fast expanding with over 100 studios including more than 60 operated by Franchisee Partners.
Aswal will be responsible for driving products for Channel Expansion (Franchisee and Other programs), Merchant or Seller Network, Pepcart Logistics, Distributor Management Systems and Sales Systems across the country.
“Pepperfry has changed the dynamics of the home and furniture sector; transforming the way Indians shop for and create their homes. Today, even when Pepperfry is already a household brand I feel we have just scratched the surface. I am super excited to be a part of this truly differentiated journey and look forward to taking some strategically bold initiatives and making a lasting impact in the hypergrowth future for the brand,” Aswal said.
Azah, which is a women’s wellness brand, has lately been acquired by Powerhouse91. The brand has doubled its revenue post-acquisition while growing almost 50 percent month-on-month (MoM) in October alone. It said that its growth comes on the back of increasing awareness about premium wellness and hygiene, particularly in products like sanitary pads.
The feminine hygiene market was valued at Rs 32.66 billion in 2020 - and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.87 percent. Starting originally as a feminine hygiene brand with its range of organic sanitary pads, the company has further accelerated and expanded its product line multifold with recent product launches like menstrual cups, period panties, acne patches and jade roller. It further said that it is looking to expand to a broader set of demographics and geographies.
“Azah benefits greatly from operating within the broader umbrella of Powerhouse91’s family of brands. Our goal here is to establish Azah as a global brand that stands for functional, sustainable and accessible women’s wellness. The brand’s journey of finding its loyal following in a highly competitive space, and that too in a relatively short period is a testament to its strong focus on quality and customer experience,” Aqib Mohammed, Co-founder at Powerhouse91, said.
Real estate developer, Runwal Group announced the appointment of Sangeeta Prasad as its Group CEO with effect from October’21. Driven and passionate with more than 29 years of experience, Prasad's tenacity and conviction of purpose make her a valuable leader for any organization. Her deep-rooted expertise in the management of large businesses will add a fresh and strategic perspective to the Runwal group by improving execution excellence.
“We are delighted to have Sangeeta Prasad onboard. Her rich experience will add tremendous value and I am confident that her extensive expertise and leadership will be an essential asset that will nurture the successful growth of our organization,” Sandeep Runwal, Managing Director at Runwal Group, said.
Prasad has gone on to hold various leadership roles across the top conglomerates of India. Starting her professional journey at Tata Steel, she worked in multiple business roles over the 16 years at the company.
Her next stint was at the Mahindra Group where her last role was ‘MD & CEO, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Limited', the listed real estate vertical of the group. She was also a member of the Group Executive Board and the Co-Chair of the Group Diversity Council during her tenure at Mahindra Group.
“I am excited to become a part of the Runwal Group, a trusted pioneer in real estate development. I look forward to the opportunity to drive customer centricity and contribute meaningfully to this dynamic organization,”Sangeeta Prasad, Group CEO at Runwal Group, said.
Dollar Industries announced the G.O.A.T Brand Labs has acquired the entire share of Pepe Jeans Europe in a JV company in which the Kolkata-based innerwear major also holds a stake. Pepe Jeans, which had formed a 50:50 joint venture with Dollar Industries in India in 2017, has lately decided to exit the JV entity.
According to the company’s official statement, the JV company - Pepe Jeans Innerfashion- was incorporated to market 'Pepe' brand fashion innerwear, loungewear, sleepwear and tracksuits for adults and kids in India and neighboring markets.
The city-based knitwear major will now focus on premiumization with the new partner for the JV firm.
"The new partner - G.O.A.T Brand Labs - brings in expertise and technology to enhance our direct-to-consumer capabilities. With our JV, we intend to expand our product portfolio with more premium brands," Vinod Kumar Gupta, Managing Director at Dollar Industries, said.
Though sales of the JV firm were at Rs 14 crore as against Dollar's turnover of Rs 1,040 crore, the company holds ‘immense potential’ to increase its share in the premium segment, Gupta said.
With the new JV partner, the innerwear firm intended to innovate in the e-commerce space and increase direct-to-consumer sales. G.O.A.T would purchase one crore equity shares of Pepe Innerfashion from Pepe Jeans Europe BV.
"It will also subscribe two percent of additional non-voting equity shares on the existing and increased paid-up capital," the official said.
Gupta said the company will aim at 15-20 percent growth in turnover, and 10-15 percent in profit over the last fiscal.