The year 2021 is off to a strong start for digital-first beauty player SUGAR Cosmetics as they announce a $21 Million (INR 153 Cr) Series C funding round led by Elevation Capital (formerly, SAIF Partners), with existing investors A91 Partners, India Quotient participating and strategic venture debt from Stride Ventures.
SUGAR Cosmetics started as a direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand by Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee in 2015 with products that were specifically created to suit Indian skin tones. While eCommerce still contributes ~50% to SUGAR’s revenue, the brand has also built an omni-channel distribution network that includes 10,000+ retail outlets across 130+ cities to take their award-winning range to the doorstep of beauty enthusiasts across the country. Today, SUGAR is a Top 5 cosmetics brand by sales contribution at most stores of retail chains like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop and Health & Glow. Having closed FY20 at a net revenue of 105 Cr, the Company is currently at an annual net revenue run rate of ~200 Cr with the aim to double this in the next 12 months.
Speaking on the brand’s growth, Vineeta Singh, Co-Founder & CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics said, “With SUGAR’s 6X jump in revenues over the last two fiscal years, we are extremely grateful to all our customers who believe in our mission to make high-quality inclusive beauty accessible to everyone. While the COVID-19 disruption was a spanner in the works, we were quick to bounce back to 150% of our pre-Covid revenues last quarter and that too profitably. A brand can only be as resilient as the team that drives it and for this I thank my colleagues, our customers and existing investors who supported us through unpredictable times. Today, Kaushik and I are delighted to welcome Elevation Capital as the newest shareholder in our cap table as we power ahead to build a loved and enduring brand over the next decade.”
Apart from investments in keeping the brand’s fast-moving product range ahead of the curve, the funds are expected to be used in building both digital and retail distribution to further reach in existing and new geographies. The brand’s Android and iOS apps have seen a million downloads with a 4.7-star rating indicating a clear choice amongst the brand’s loyalists. The retail footprint is also expected to surpass 40,000+ outlets in the current year.
Speaking on this investment Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital said, “In a short period of time, SUGAR has done a tremendous job in establishing itself as the go to cosmetics brand for modern day Indian women. By starting out digital first and obsessing over the needs of their consumers, SUGAR has not only developed a playbook to create better products suited for the Indian market, but has also enhanced awareness about various make-up products through its social media channels. We are super excited to be a part of the next chapter of their journey.”
Vertices Partners acted as legal counsels for SUGAR Cosmetics in this Series C round.