O2O global brand for toilet hygiene PeeSafe has announced a fundraise of $1 Mn from Venture Catalysts, global VC firm Alfa Capital, Green Shots Capital, and Real Time Ventures. Angel investors such as ex-FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan, Motilal Oswal PE Partner Amit Choudhury also participated in the round. The funding will be used to expand the product line of the parent company Redcliffe Hygiene and to expand to global markets starting with the US, Europe, Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
PeeSafe was founded by the husband-wife duo of Vikas and Srijana Bagaria in 2015 and is now run by Redcliffe Hygiene Pvt. Ltd. PeeSafe is a clinically approved, isopropyl, alcohol-based, quick-drying toilet seat sanitizer, as per a company statement. The company claims to have sold 200K units of PeeSafe since inception, across retail stores at an MRP of INR 180.
The same statement also divulged that FMCG distribution company Quadrant also participated in the round, to drive retail distribution of the Redcliffe products across 1 Lakh stores.
Venture Catalysts founder Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma stated, “Redcliffe Hygiene is targeting the relatively untapped hygiene sector with a strong and disruptive concept, backed by an experienced team with cross-domain expertise. The current market traction is exceptional especially from multiple geographies provides a valid proof of its business model.”
The company’s core focus is on providing affordable, personal hygiene care to women while travelling and in other areas of their lifestyle such as while attending gym sessions. For this purpose, Redcliffe has also introduced products such as GymSafe, MoskitoSafe, and PalmSafe along with PeeSafe and is exporting globally to Nigeria, Australia, and Singapore and the UAE.
In April 2017, it was reported that Gurugram-based Redcliffe Capital had invested an undisclosed amount in SafetyKart Retail against a 10% stake. With this deal, its private label and product PeeSafe was moved to a newly founded entity Redcliffe Hygiene Pvt. Ltd.
In keeping with the O2O business model, PeeSafe is available on etailing platforms such as Safetykart, Amazon, Flipkart, 1mg and others. It is also retailed at outlets such as Le Marche, 98.4 Pharmacy, Global Healthline, Needs supermart, as per the official statement.
“We started PeeSafe with the idea of saving over 150 Mn women globally from Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and other diseases caused by unhygienic public washrooms. With the funding, we will be able to further our cause and achieve our objective of scaling PeeSafe into a global brand and reaching out to 10% of our target market through 1 Lakh stores by the end of this calendar year in India alone. We are also looking to open production facilities in the US and UK,” founder Vikas Bagaria stated in an interaction with Inc42.
The FMCG hygiene and wellness space is traditionally occupied by legacy incumbents such HUL, Proctor & Gamble etc. But newer contenders with a different business model are beginning to disrupt the space.
Women’s Wellness And Hygiene Space: An Overview
The female personal hygiene space in India has been largely occupied with nascent companies looking to cater to menstrual cycle needs through subscription boxes like Being Juliet. The same company has also created PeeBuddy, a cardboard device for women to stand and use, to deal with the delicate matter of female urination during long journeys. The startup raised funding to the tune of $443K from investors such as Indian Angel Network in Pre-Series A investment. Sanjay Mehta, Ishan Singh and Vikas Kuthiala led the round on behalf of IAN.
According to Persistence Market Research, the global female hygiene market is expected to reach $35.2 Bn in 2024, at a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. As of 2015, it was valued at $19 Bn. Most of the existing female products consist of sanitary napkins, panty liners, tampons, vaginal creams, disposable razor blades, internal cleansers and lubricants among others. Most recently, a menstruation cup or DIVA cup has also become part of the female hygiene lexicon as a way to monitor and control flow while not hampering day-to-day activities.
With companies such as RedCliffe Hygiene and products such as PeeSafe expanding to a global footprint, the toilet hygiene market has opened up a niche space targeted at women’s wellness but not restricted to beauty and biological imperatives.