[Funding alert] mCaffeine parent raises $31.5M led by Paragon Partners

The D2C company will utilise the capital for international expansion and inorganic growth.
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Pep Technologies Pvt Ltd, the parent of Mumbai-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) personal care brand mCaffeine, has announced a fundraise of around $31.5 million (Rs 240 crore) in a Series C round led by Paragon Partners, India. The round also saw participation from Singularity Growth Opportunities Fund, Harsh Mariwala-backed Sharrp Ventures, and returning investors, Amicus Capital Partners and RPSG Capital Ventures

 

Pep Technologies, the holding company of the mCaffeine brand, has been valued at Rs 1,000 crore (nearly $131.4 million) as part of the round. The company had previously raised Rs 42 crore in a Series B round of funding from Amicus Capital, RPSG Ventures, Telama Investments, and Aman Gupta — Co-founder of consumer electronics brand boAt, in September 2020. With the current round, mCaffeine has raised a total of $40 million since inception.

 

The fresh capital will allow the company to expand across 12 countries, it said in a statement. Going ahead, the company plans to acquire smaller brands in the beauty vertical across Indian and global markets, taking a house-of-brands approach, the statement said. 

 

Founded in 2016 by Tarun Sharma and Vikas Lachhwani, the mCaffeine brand has a portfolio of 55 caffeine-infused products including soaps, shampoos, scrubs, oils, and others. The brand claims to have a presence across 18,000 pin codes and a customer base of over 2.5 million

Tarun Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, mCaffeine

“The last five years are testament to mCaffeine’s growth and customer affinity — to think of it, we have sold coffee equivalent to two crore mid-size cups of Starbucks in just five years. We are deeply excited by this fundraise, as it will enable us to scale up our R&D capabilities while we strengthen our brand awareness nationally, and fortify our marketing and distribution efforts (both online and offline) across geographies,” said Tarun Sharma, CEO and Co-founder of mCaffeine in the statement.

mCaffeine operates in the highly competitive space of beauty and personal care D2C brands which has seen an uptick in investor interest since the pandemic.

“This is Paragon’s first investment in the personal care sector and is in line with our investment strategy of partnering with high-caliber entrepreneurs with compelling business models and assisting them to scale up operations and expand into new markets,” said Sumeet Nindrajog, Co-founder and Senior Partner at Paragon Partners in the statement. The Indian mid-market private equity firm has previously backed companies like Chai Point, InCred Capital, eShakti and others.

Honasa Consumer which operates Mamaearth, The Derma Co., Aqualogica and recently acquired hair care brand BBLUNT, turned a startup unicorn in December 2021 with a valuation of $1.2 billion. The Good Glamm Group which operates MyGlamm, has also created an ecosystem play with the acquisition of BabyChakra, POPxo, Organic Harvest, The Moms Co. and others. It turned into a startup unicorn in November 2021 in a funding round led by Warburg Pincus. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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