82°E raised $7.5 Mn in seed funding from DSG Consumer Partners and IDEO Ventures, along with Padukone’s family office and UHNIs
The celebrity brand is deploying the funding to build its team, scale up R&D and launch new products
The personal care startup has launched two products so far and plans to launch more products in the future
D2C personal care startup 82°E (pronounced 82 East), founded by Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone, has announced raising $7.5 Mn in seed funding from DSG Consumer Partners and IDEO Ventures, along with multiple ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNIs) and Padukone’s family office.
The brand is currently deploying the funds to build its team, scale up research and development (R&D) and launch new products. It has an R&D lab in Bengaluru to formulate products in-house.
Founded in 2021 by Deepika Padukone and Jigar Shah and launched in November 2022, 82°E is a personal care brand with skincare as the core focus.
The funding was raised earlier in 2022, according to Shah, and a significant chunk of the fresh funding has already been deployed to scale up 82°E’s R&D and build its team. The brand employs around 35 people.
“We raised this funding round pre-product, pre-revenue, pre-launch. When I went to the investors, all I had was a conversation. I did not even have a PPT or a deck, no product or revenues to show. It was an idea at that time (at the time of the funding),” Shah told Inc42.
In a statement, Padukone said, “Jigar and I envisioned this brand as an extension of my personal as well as professional journey. We set out to launch products which are high-quality, high-performing and an authentic reflection of my beliefs and practices.”
“With our launch category of skincare products, we have rigorously sourced, carefully crafted and clinically tested our products to achieve lasting results. I am honoured to have investors of global repute join us in our vision to establish 82°E as a modern self-care brand born in India for the world,” she added.
Speaking with Inc42, Shah said that celebrity brands are still in their infancy in India, even though the concept has been there for several decades. He said that while India’s personal care space is very competitive, most of the products in it are for the masses.
“But we see different trends which are there globally as well as in India. The first trend we see is premiumisation and the second trend is digitisation. The premium segment is where we see clear whitespace, where there is no clear winner. That’s where we want to play,” said Shah.
For now, 82°E has two products – one for hydration and one for protection. According to the cofounder, the initial product choice was intentional as the startup considered multiple factors, including the season when it would launch.
“Our solution to that is to simplify the entire world (of skincare), to go back to basics and focus on fundamentals of skincare. What we found out through research and conversation with our R&D experts is that if you focus on hydration and protection, a lot of skin health is taken care of. That is the story we’re trying to build,” said Shah about the product choice.
The cofounder told Inc42 that 82°E is following a drop strategy and will come up with more products going ahead.
Shah did not share the specifics of how 82°E has fared in the market so far but said that the brand achieved its month-one target in five-and-a-half days, shipping to 30 countries in the process. According to the cofounder, 82°E is set to achieve INR 100 Cr in annual revenue rate (ARR) in the next six to eight months.
The boom in the country’s startup ecosystem over the last few years has resulted in many Bollywood celebrities launching their startups or turning investors for other startups. Earlier this week, Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan made his entrepreneurial debut with the launch of the vodka brand D’YAVOL.