Kolkata-headquartered FMCG company Emami has backed Helios Lifestyle, which owns and operates men’s grooming platform, The Man Company (TMC). According to Inc42 sources, the amount invested is about $3 Mn.
As part of the deal, Emami will be acquiring 30% equity stake in the Gurugram-based startup.
With the acquisition of stake, which is expected to be finalised by December 31, 2018, Emami is looking to enter country’s fast-growing online male grooming segment.
Commenting on the development, Emami Director Harsha V. Agarwal said, “We are very happy to announce this exciting partnership with Helios. We are quite impressed with the founders and their passion to make this business a success since its inception. With the growing demand of men’s grooming products, many of the startups entered the male grooming segment in the last two years. However, they focus mainly on beard or any specific grooming segment of men. The Man Company is different from them as it provides complete product portfolio for men by offering head-to-toe range of grooming products.”
“This investment is in line with the company’s strategy of leveraging online opportunities brought about by rapid digitisation which is the future and will also help us to be present in the premium end of growing male grooming segment,” Agarwal added.
The Man Company: Growth Story
Founded in 2015 by Bhisham Bhateja, Hitesh Dhingra, Rohit Chawla and Parvesh Bareja, The Man Company is a is a single window for men to shop for grooming products such as shave gels, hair gel, face wash, shampoo, and body wash. It offers a head-to-toe range of men’s grooming products across various categories, including bath and body management, shaving and perfumes.
As claimed by the company, all the products are chemical-free and are made with essential oils. The startup currently sells its products online through its own website and other ecommerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Nykaa, etc. Along with the products, the company will also aim to provide curated content related to men’s interests on its platform.
As per Emami’s filings with the BSE, TMC’s annual turnover stood at $868K (INR 5.60 Cr) in FY17, up from $170K (INR 1.10 Cr) in the fiscal year 2015-16. The Man Company originally raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding in September 2015 from a clutch of angel investors, including Karan Bajwa, MD Microsoft India; Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager -India at Airbnb and Manish Vij, founder and CEO of SVG Media.
Commenting on the latest fundraise from Emami, The Man Company co-founder and MD Hitesh Dhingra said in an official statement, “Male grooming segment is hugely untapped in India. Barring a few categories like fragrances, men end up using products meant for women. The space is being disrupted by startups globally using digital medium as a platform for marketing and distribution. Within a short space of time, TMC has become a key player in online men’s grooming segment in India and with the strategic association with Emami, we have found a perfect partner to help us accelerate our growth and take our brand to a new level.”
Emami: 300 Products Sold Across 725K Retail Outlets
Operating in the personal and healthcare space, Emami is an FMCG conglomerate that is engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing personal care, healthcare and beauty products. Its portfolio comprises more than 300 products. Some of its brands include Navratna, Boroplus, Zandu, Kesh King, etc.
Emami claims to have a domestic distribution network of over 3,500 distributors and 4,000 sub-distributors, with a direct reach across 725K retail outlets. It also exports to early 60 countries and has a strong presence in Russia, SAARC and the African countries.
The company currently has a market capitalisation of $4.5 Bn. In the men’s grooming segment, Emami is present through brands like Fair and Handsome and HE.
A Look At The Country’s $750 Mn Men’s Grooming Market
The country’s overall beauty, cosmetics, and grooming industry currently stands at $6.5 Bn, and is poised to touch $20 Bn by 2025. As per a Euromonitor International report, the market for grooming products aimed at men is worth over $750 Mn (INR 5,000 Cr) in India. It is slated to reach $1.2 Bn (INR 8,000 Cr) by 2018.
Currently, male grooming comes under the flagship portals of Flipkart, Amazon India, Nykaa, Purplle and others, where typically these products are sold on the platform. In the male grooming FMCG products space, The Man Company competes with established players like Emami and Gillette, as well as emerging startups like Ustraa, Bombay Shaving Company, and Beardo, among others.
Recently in August, Delhi-based male grooming startup Bombay Shaving Company raised about $2.3 Mn Pre-Series A funding in a round led by Fireside Ventures. Prior to that in March, Indian consumer goods company Marico acquired 45% stake in Beardo in exchange for an undisclosed amount. Previously, the startup backed by Suniel Shetty raised $500K in seed funding from Venture Catalysts in September 2016.
With fresh capital from Emami, The Man Company looks to gain a stronghold in the fast-evolving men’s grooming vertical by tapping into Emami’s expansive offline presence.
Update 1: 5:00 PM, 8th December 2017
The funding amount has been updated the article from undisclosed to $3 Mn.