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Indian D2C, co-founded by husband-wife duo, raises $50M at $500M valuation to penetrate marketing

Sugar-2-founders
Sugar-2-founders

SUGAR Cosmetics, co-founded by husband-wife duo Kaushik Mukherjee and Vineeta Singh, the latter of whom was recently a ‘shark’ on the viral series Shark Tank India has raised  $50M Series D fundraise led by the Asia fund of L Catterton. The fundraise saw participation from multiple private equity funds along with existing investors – A91 Partners, Elevation Capital, and India Quotient. The fundraise was valued close to $500M.

This comes at a time when funding rounds are taking longer to close, and businesses have resorted to closing non-core verticals, rationalising marketing and advertising spends, and going on hiring freezes.

The overhaul

Anjana Sasidharan, managing director of L Catterton Asia, will join the company’s board of directors following the fundraise.

Kaushik Mukherjee and Vineeta Singh co-founded the D2C company in 2012, which sells lipsticks, eyeliners, face and eye brushes, and has lately moved into the skincare market, selling moisturisers and sheet masks. Some media reports earlier quoted that it has an annualised revenue of around Rs 320-350 crore, or around Rs 27-30 crore in net revenue per month.

Competitors

SUGAR Cosmetics competes against startups such as Mamaearth, Nykaa, and WOW Skin, as well as FMCG behemoths like Unilever and L’Oreal. The firm claims to have consumers from metros to Tier 2+ cities across India, thanks to its online presence and physical distribution network.

SUGAR had earlier secured $21M in a Series C round headed by Elevation Capital, A91 Partners, and India Quotient.

SUGAR co-founder and CEO Vineeta Singh said, “Consumers are at the heart of all we do. At SUGAR, we are devoted to creating innovative products that meticulously cater to the preferences of women with diverse skin tones and types who believe in expressing themselves with high-quality cosmetics and skincare products that complement their inner beauty. L Catterton shares our ethos of truly understanding what matters most to consumers, and my co-founder Kaushik and I are thrilled to welcome the firm as our partner. The firm’s brand-building and value-creation capabilities will fortify our growth as we continue on our journey of delighting and over-delivering on the expectations of our customers and fans. We are also extremely grateful for our existing investors’ unwavering faith in both of us and the unstoppable team that is making our collective dream a reality.”

“We have been impressed with how SUGAR has sustained its momentum of rapid growth across online and offline channels while maintaining healthy operating metrics,” commented Anjana Sasidharan, L Catterton Asia Managing Director, who will be joining the company’s board. “With a product-first mindset and deep understanding of their target consumers, SUGAR’s leadership team has established a strong position in India’s cosmetics market, which is at an exciting inflection point of expansion. We look forward to partnering with the company to thoughtfully unlock international exposure and drive further growth, leveraging our experience of working with over 20 beauty and personal care companies in L Catterton’s portfolio across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.”

Notably, this is L Catterton’s first venture in India, following the hiring of Anjana Sasidharan from Sequoia Capital India last year to lead investments in India and Southeast Asia.

Catterton partnered with Louis Vuitton owner LVMH and its billionaire chairman Bernard Arnault to form L Catterton in 2016.

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