Bengaluru-based D2C skincare brand WOW Skin Science has raised INR 375 Cr ($48.02 Mn) from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. The startup had made an announcement earlier in May, informing the same without divulging the funding amount.
The startup’s last funding round came more than 14 months ago when it raised $50 Mn from ChrysCapital.
In a meeting held on May 26, the startup’s shareholders decided to allot 3,168 compulsory convertible debentures (CCDs) to Waverly PTE. Ltd at an issue price of INR 11,83,702 per share to raise INR 375 Cr ($48.02 Mn), according to a regulatory filing with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) seen by Inc42.
It is prudent to note that Waverly PTE. Ltd is a subsidiary of GIC. WOW Skin Science’s valuation has reached around $280 Mn post the funding round.
Going by the May announcement, WOW Skin Science will use the incoming funds to build its brand, hire across verticals and launch new products.
Founded in 2014 by Manish and Karan Chowdhary, WOW Skin Science is an omnichannel D2C brand that offers 300 SKUs across categories such as skin, hair, bath and body, wellness, and nutrition and health. WOW, Skin Science also sells products across 2,500 retail outlets in the US.
WOW, Skin Science competes with unicorns Nykaa and Mamaearth, along with startups such as SUGAR Cosmetics and mCaffeine, among others.
India’s personal care D2C market opportunity has increased rapidly as the D2C brands achieve more and more market penetration in the Tier 2+ cities. According to an Inc42report, India is set to have more than 122 Mn online beauty shoppers by FY25, presenting a market opportunity of $5.6 Bn by 2025 for India’s D2C brands.
The country’s total beauty and personal care market is poised to reach a value of $37.2 Bn by 2025, spurred on by the increasing demand.
While India’s D2C landscape has seen a flurry of funding activity over the last few months, a recent report by HDFC Securities suggested that higher interest rates and a decline in venture funding are the near-term challenges for D2C brands in India. This slowdown of funding might also lead to consolidation in the segment as well.
Consolidation has been going on in the D2C segment, and recently, Thrasio-style D2C rollup unicorn GlobalBees had invested in five different D2C brands last week. Last month, D2C unicorn Mamaearth acquired two brands, one in hair care (BBLUNT) and one in skin care (Dr Sheth’s) respectively.