Thane-based skincare products startup Pureplay Skin Sciences, the parent company of Plum, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Unilever Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of consumer giant Unilever.
The company plans to use the fresh funds to scale up its operations both in the online and offline spaces. This is the first significant funding round the bootstrapped company has raised since its inception.
Founded in 2013 by Shankar Prasad, Plum claims to be a 100% vegan beauty brand and offers skincare, cosmetics, body, and bath products.
“We have had a long-term interest in digital-first beauty brands and have been impressed with the work Shankar and his team have been doing over the last few years, crafting the Plum brand, with a clear positioning and purpose, appealing to an engaged consumer audience,” said Pawan Chaturvedi, investment director at Unilever Ventures.
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In July, the company claimed to serve 50K customers per month across channels and registered a topline growth of 150% y-o-y over the last two years. Plum also claims to be profitable at the company level and says that in one year, it has increased its brick-and-mortar retail sales to more than 20% of its total sales.
Talking to Inc42, Shankar Prasad said that the company had doubled its turnover for the financial year 2018 and has also expanded its portfolio to include men wellness products. The average order size for the company remains $12.5-$13.9 (INR 900-INR 1000).
With the fresh funds in its kitty, Plum is looking to reach a monthly turnover of $2.78 Mn- $4.17 Mn (INR 20 Cr- INR 30 Cr) and targets $13.91 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in next 12-18 months.
Beauty And Personal Care Market
With the Indian consumers coming online for their day-to-day needs, the wellness market has also made efforts to firm up its digital presence.
Several companies are currently offering beauty, wellness and skincare products, with the online market being led by beauty ecommerce websites like Nykaa and Purplle, along with the ecommerce retailers like Flipkart and Amazon. Plum leverages the network of these etailers to sell its products online along with its own platform.
Here’s a quick look into recent milestones in the segment:
- Mumbai-based online beauty products marketplace Purplle raised $2.57 Mn (INR 17.5 Cr) from a clutch of investors in a funding round
- Grocery delivery startup BigBasket has also decided to venture into cosmetics with its private label
- Amazon India is planning to launch its own private label of beauty and personal care products.
- Flipkart-subsidiary Myntra announced plans to open beauty and wellness offline stores
- Online beauty marketplace Nykaa raised $15.72 Mn (INR 113 Cr) from Lighthouse India Fund III
With stiff competition in the market, which is expected to cross $3.5 Bn (INR 25,110 Cr) by 2022, Plum’s first significant fundraise may help the company catapult its product portfolio and growth.