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mCaffeine raises US$ 2 mn in Series A funding led by RP-SG Ventures

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mCaffeine, India’s 1st caffeine-infused skin and hair care brand, has raised US $2 million in its latest round of Series A funding from a consortium of investors led by RP-SG Ventures. Other key investors include Apurva Salarpuria, LV Angel Fund, KRS Jamwal and Telama Investments. The existing investors, Harminder Sahni, Kaushal Aggarwal along with others also participated in this round of funding.

Earlier, the brand which had raised US $0.5 million, was founded by Vikas Lachhwani and Tarun Sharma in October of 2016 after 9 months of extensive research. The research yielded that caffeine is basically a superfood – it is a rich source of antioxidants and has several benefits for skin and hair. Thus, caffeine became the primary ingredient in all of their products. mCaffeine products are currently present in 3 major categories – face care, hair care and body care and the brand currently has 10 products in its portfolio. The brand has served more than half a million customers since its inception.

Commenting on the rapid pace of growth, Tarun Sharma, Co-founder & CEO, mCaffeine said, “The aspirations and requirements of today’s young Indians are rapidly evolving. With a surge in disposable income, millennials are becoming more discerning and indulgent. In an evolving trend in India, youth are beginning to look at innovative personal care products created specifically for them. mCaffeine plans to penetrate the market aggressively by giving more emphasis to a customer-driven approach especially for the young millennials of India with mass premium offerings. Currently, our products are available at 18,000 pincodes across India. We will increase our online and offline presence substantially. Venturing into this competitive market with a very superior product range which is natural and organic has helped us to be ahead of the game. Our new product range using green tea has already been a super hit. We are targeting 1 million customers and Rs 100 crore ARR in the next 12 months. A laser sharp focus on online as a channel has been very fruitful for us. mCaffeine focuses on India for now with global potential for the future.”

Personal care market in India is set to touch US$ 20 billion by 2025 from the current US$ 6.5 billion on the back of rise in disposable income of middle class and growing aspirations of people to live a good life and look good, according to Assocham.

To suit consumption across different levels of purchasing power, FMCG companies are coming out with a variety of products in different price range. The semi-urban and rural population too is joining the mainstream. The consumption pattern of personal care products among millenials has gone up substantially in the last decade because of increasing self awareness and a desire to look good. In fact, this product category is among the fastest growing segments for the manufacturers of a range of products. Over 68 percent of young adults feel that using grooming products boost their confidence.

Commenting on the investment, Abhishek Goenka, Head of RPSG Ventures, said, “Natural and organic personal care is amongst the faster growing category in personal care with a strong demand and large addressable market. However, it is increasingly getting cluttered with little or no real differentiation. We believe the ‘caffeine’ based sharp positioning of mCaffeine sets them apart, which is also reflected in their growth profile. The team’s focus on customer engagement and execution is excellent and we are very excited to partner with mCaffeine on this journey.”

As part of the investment, Goenka will also be joining the board of directors of mCaffeine.

About 62 percent of young consumers in big cities prefer to buy online beauty and grooming products. Both quality and value for money is being sought by consumers. Top brands are being pushed as mass market products with high focus on young adults and rural youth. Price barriers are also being broken both by the consumers and the manufacturers. There is a rising aspiration among millennial to look better groomed, which has led to the rapid growth in the Indian grooming market in the last 5 years. Additionally, as more Indian men are looking to remain competitive in the workforce, they are seeking products to help them maintain a youthful look.

Commenting on the funding, Vikas Lachhwani, Co-founder of mCaffeine said, “mCaffeine is a digital-first brand focused on millennial India. All of the mCaffeine products are envisioned, engineered, designed and manufactured in India. The products are manufactured after extensive research and development. We embody millennial philosophy of natural first in the form of clean label. We see product development as an exercise to address the needs of modern lifestyle. We believe in pure, natural, ingredients and pursue strict clinical and dermatological testing regime. For us, research is paramount. The recently acquired funds will be utilized to further invest in research and development, expand distribution across digital channels and continue to grow our operations. Along with this, mCaffeine plans to expand its product portfolio to include 30 more products in the next twelve months.”

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