“We are thrilled to have Sixth Sense join this journey. They are a top consumer fund with insight into public markets, which is invaluable for us,” said Shantanu Deshpande, founder, and CEO at Bombay Shaving Company.
“We don’t believe in large fund infusions, however, exits for angels and early employees is an extremely positive outcome. Wealth creation is what drives us.”
Launched in 2016, BSC started as a direct-to-consumer premium experiential shaving regimen, but has quickly expanded into skin, beard and bath categories. The firm, which also sells its products on e-commerce platform Amazon, has a portfolio of over 45 SKUs (stock-keeping units) across shaving, bath and body, skin, and beard care categories.
The firm plans to use the newly-raised funds in brand building, expand its presence in the larger skincare category and penetrate deeper in shaving. As an omnichannel brand, BSC said it will focus on offline expansion with its current footprint of 3,000 stores to 10,000 stores in the coming months. BSC currently has more than 2.5 lakh customers and aims to become Rs 100-crore brand in the next 12-15 months.
"BSC team has impressed us with the portfolio, brand building, understanding of consumer and digital expertise," said Nikhil Vora, founder at Sixth Sense Venture Partners. “We love to invest in spaces where we believe we can grow with the sponsors for a long period. Shantanu (Deshpande) gives us that feel. Being digital-first is an exciting way of creating a market before exploiting the physical distribution model.”
The beauty and personal care (BPC) market in India, which stood at $16 billion in 2018, is expected to grow to $22.5 billion by 2022, according to the consulting firm RedSeer. According to experts, the increasing disposable income and a growing young working population are aiding the India men’s grooming products market. Besides traditional players such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), BSC is also competing with other startups like Beardo and Ustraa to tap this market.
Subramanian Ramadorai, the former vice-chairman of tech firm TCS and 16 partners from McKinsey & Company were among the angel investors who backed BSC in 2016. “Seeing the full cycle of investment to multiplier returns in 3.5 years is extremely gratifying for the angels," said Revant Bhate, an entrepreneur and one of the earliest angel investors in the company.
BSC is a men’s skincare brand that has presence across shave, beard, skin and bath and body categories. The firm plans to use the funds to expand its presence in the larger skincare category. It also aims to achieve an annualised turnover of Rs 100 crore by the end of 2020.