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Marico makes 'bearded deal' with men's grooming startup Beardo, acquires 45pc stake

Binjal Shah
18th Mar 2017
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Marico, a company that had reportedly been eyeing the men's grooming segment, has decided to advance on that trajectory by acquiring 45 percent stake in the popular men’s grooming startup, Beardo. While the acquisition has happened for an undisclosed amount, the equity is slated to be acquired in the duration of two years, following primary infusion and secondary buy-outs.

Owned by Ahmadabad-based Zed lifestyle, Beardo was founded in October 2015 by Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah. In September last year, it received $500,000 in seed funding from Venture Catalyst, a seed investment and innovation platform for very early stage startups, and hence availed of their angel network, community, services, and co-working facility.

YourStory-Beardo
Ashutosh and Priyank, founders at Beardo

The line of products introduced by Beardo takes care of all-round personal grooming for men. For beards, it offers growth oil, wax, and shampoo, along with wax and serum for hair and lotion, soap and face wash for the ultimate skin care. After raising seed funding, Beardo has been successful in further strengthening its presence in the online trade, scoring 75 percent of its revenue from the same.

Speaking on the acquisition, Anuj Golecha, Co-founder of Venture Catalysts, tells YourStory, "The Beardo team had received three other termsheets, and had generated a lot of buzz in the investor community. But, we decided to go with Marico because their country-wide network was the most conducive to our growth, and Beardo will grow much faster and reach a different league altogether, compared to competitors, with Marico on board,"

His co-founder Apoorv Ranjan Sharma added, “We had recognised the stellar potential of Beardo during the preliminary stages of its seed investment. We shall be closely watching their growth and scale in the times to come.”

In an interview with YourStory about the acquisition, Ashutosh reveals that they plan to strengthen their presence in the offline space pan India, and thus, emerge as the largest players in the non-shaving category of products with the help of Marico's network and guidance, within three to four years. "The shaving products category has many players, and we wish to focus on our non-shaving offerings. Having said that, we are also open to venturing into other grooming product categories as well, if the opportunity knocks," he says.

In regards to the association, a spokesperson at Marico said, "The Rs 3,200-crore male grooming market, growing at a double digit CAGR, is a strategic category for Marico. Marico views this investment in Zed Lifestyle as a stepping stone towards its ambition of strengthening its presence and widening its portfolio in this segment."

Currently, Beardo has a strong online presence and has over 2,000 retail touchpoints, mainly salons, spas, beauty retailers, across all major metro cities in India. They have served one million customers so far, and are poised to grow at a 20 percent rate month-on-month.

The market also has other players like The Man Company, which specifically deals with the men’s grooming products, that have raised an angel round from Karan Bajwa, MD of Microsoft India, Manish Vij, Founder and CEO of SVG Media, and Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager of Airbnb India. The company LetsShave is also in the space, albeit not a direct competitor to Beardo as they operate in the men’s grooming and shaving space also.

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