South Korea's Dorco makes first investment in India, picks up 10 percent in Letsshave
Men and women's grooming products startup Letsshave has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by South Korean razor company Dorco. With the investment, Dorco acquired a 10 percent stake in Chandigarh-based Letsshave.
This is Dorco's first investment in an Indian startup, and Letsshave will use the funds raised to expand its product portfolio the online business. Confirming the fundraise, Sidharth S Oberoi, Founder, Letsshave said, "We want to become a one-stop solution for grooming while keeping shaving as our core category. This investment has given both the companies a great opportunity to share unique resources and capabilities to create a competitive advantage in the market. We believe that this alliance will ensure life-long product supply for the Indian market and help us introduce advanced products."
Dorco has been manufacturing razors since 1955 and having used its products while in California, Sidharth was keen to partner with the company. Since its inception in 2015, Letsshave has focussed on creating a subscription-based model to deliver shaving products.
Interestingly, this is the same trajectory that the Dollar Shave Club used in the US. The company was later acquired by Unilever for $1 billion. Sidharth adds that according to Euromonitor, shaving holds the largest market share in the grooming category, with more than 42 percent, while the men’s grooming market will be worth $2.2 billion by 2020. Additionally, a Boston Consulting Group and Google India report says 40 percent of the FMCG business would be driven by the online channel by 2020.
The market is clearly picking up. The Bombay Shaving Company raised Series A funding led by Colgate-Palmolive Asia Pacific Limited, a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive based in Hong Kong, and existing investors Fireside Ventures. Apart from The Bombay Shaving Company, there are several brands focused on men’s grooming products. These include Gurgaon-based ManCompany and Ahmedabad-based Beardo (acquired by Marico).
On investing in Letsshave, Ken Kwak, Director, Dorco, said in a press statement, "Dorco is a trusted brand in the razor and blade industry. We are on a mission to be an innovator in India leveraging our customer-oriented innovation, global experience and 60 years of heritage... Acknowledging their enthusiasm and vision for the grooming business, and their differentiated capabilities, we considered LetsShave as the best partner for our long-term vision for the Indian market.”