[The F word] Bombay Shaving Company raises Series A investment led by Colgate-Palmolive Asia Pacific Limited

23rd Aug 2018
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Men's grooming brand Bombay Shaving Company will use the new funds for brand building, product development, and to enhance technology and sales. 

The Bombay Shaving Company, the online men’s grooming brand, on Thursday announced that it had raised an undisclosed Series A funding led by a clutch of investors. The round was led by Colgate-Palmolive Asia Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive based in Hong Kong, and existing investors Fireside Ventures. 

The primary investment is speculated to be about Rs 18 crore, and the Hong Kong arm of the global consumer company is said to have picked up a 14 per cent minority stake in Bombay Shaving Company. The funds will be used to invest in brand building, product development, and expanding capabilities in technology and sales.

Last year, Bombay Shaving Company raised $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding from Fireside Ventures and HNIs including senior McKinsey & Co executives.

Founded in 2016, Bombay Shaving Company claims to have expanded to a base of over 80,000 customers and a portfolio of 30 products across shaving, bath and body, skin, and beard care categories.

The Bombay Shaving Company team

Shantanu Deshpande, Founder and CEO, Bombay Shaving Company, says, “All our investors have a track record of being patient, supportive financial backers with learning intent. Building a consumer brand in India needs time, capital, and long-term vision. After having proven product market fit with promising repeat rates and product response, we are now looking to scale the brand.”

The team believes that men’s grooming is proving to be a fast-growing category in the FMCG space in India with growth rates estimated at 30 percent annually.

S Ramadorai, former Vice-Chairman at TCS and a long-term backer of Bombay Shaving Company, said in a press statement:  “We met with the team from Colgate-Palmolive and were very excited by the synergies across technology, direct-to-consumer distribution, and supply chain. The young team at BSC stands to leverage decades of experience in Colgate-Palmolive to grow the BSC brand and reach.”

The beard grooming industry targets over 25 million users and has a market size of Rs 2,000 crore. Apart from The Bombay Shaving Company, there are several brands focused on men’s grooming products. These include Gurgaon-based ManCompany, Ahmedabad-based Beardo (acquired by Marico), and Chandigarh-based LetsShave. The market potential is huge.

Kanwaljit Singh, Founder of Fireside Ventures and board member at Bombay Shaving Company, says: “Young men in India are demanding more thoughtfully made products and better choices. The BSC team has been able to quickly ramp up its product portfolio and expansion of its online platform. We see BSC building a strong brand with emotional appeal and a compelling product narrative.”

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