India’s leading hair removal brand, Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) has raised INR 160 Cr in a round led by Malabar Investments, a hedge fund based in India. The round also saw participation from Patni Advisors, Singularity AMC, and other HNIs. ESOP sales for some of its employees and exits for early investors to the tune of INR 45 Cr was another feature of this round. The round comes 11 months after the company raised INR 45 Cr from Reckitt, a global FMCG giant in the health, hygiene, and nutrition space. The company is uniquely capitalized with two global, strategic giants–Colgate Palmolive and Reckitt on their cap table.
“We found the Bombay Shaving Company team to have this passionate and obsessive compulsion to address consumer pain points through product innovation, which is the hallmark of any great consumer company. In a short period of time, they have built a sizable business and a differentiated franchise despite heavily established competition. We believe hair removal is a large market and Bombay Shaving Company has emerged as a strong challenger across categories. We are thrilled to partner with them.” said Sumeet Nagar, Managing Director at Malabar Investments.
Bombay Shaving Company (BSC) plans to scale operations to INR 500 Cr top line with an omnichannel presence in the next two years, and will deploy the funds towards expanding its portfolio of personal care & hair removal products. Along with launching new products, BSC will continue to aggressively expand its offline distribution, build international presence, invest in brand building and hire talent across positions. BSC also intends to acquire brands in adjacent categories and content platforms and is in advanced talks to raise a further INR 300 Cr for this.
The investment will further bolster the brand’s ambition to deliver 10X growth in the next 5 years.
Launched in 2016, BSC started as a premium, D2C, experiential shaving regimen brand and has since expanded into diverse hair removal categories. In 2020, BSC forayed into women’s hair removal with their brand ‘Bombay Shaving Company–Women’ which now accounts for nearly 25% of the total business. BSC has a rich portfolio of over 100 SKUs – comprising hair removal products for both men and women. The list includes: shaving regimens, trimmers, beard products, razors for women, wax strips, hair removal creams, and other products & accessories. BSC has served over 3 million customers across channels in the six years of its existence. With a finger on the pulse of customers, the brand is seen to be conscious, sensitive, and responsible.
“We are delighted to have investors of such caliber join our cap table. We are singularly focused on building a brand that owns hair removal. As we scale from INR 150 Cr to 500 Cr and 1000 Cr, we needed an investor group that could guide us on building an IPO-able company,” said Shantanu Deshpande, founder CEO of BSC. “We entered the market looking to raise INR 100 Cr but were delighted to have received offers of > INR 500 Cr. We will be evaluating how to further accommodate valuable investors. Also, we are happy to provide INR 45 Cr exits to our employees and early investors, a significant value creation milestone for us,” he added.
“We have the best start-up sales team in India, bar none. We will scale our store presence from 50,000 to 200,000 selling points across India and aim to grab a 15%+ share in hair removal in these stores. We also have a pipeline of 30+ innovative products in 2022 and are keen to deeply invest in the brand as well. We’ve signed Indian international cricketer, R Ashwin and actress Alaya F as brand ambassadors. The brand is witnessing a surge in overall volumes, transaction value, and an increase in users’ vis-à-vis last year. We are already clocking 1.5 million shipments a quarter,.” said Deepak Gupta, Chief Operating Officer at BSC. “We see the international channel achieving salience for us in a span of 18-24 months, adding 10-15 per cent to our overall company revenue,” he added.
This will be the 6th round of financing for the company that counts Reckitt, Colgate Palmolive, Sixth Sense Venture Partners, and industry powerlifters (including former vice-chairman of TCS S Ramadorai and 16 senior partners from McKinsey & Company) as investors.