The year 2021 is off to a strong start for digital-first beauty player SUGAR Cosmetics as they announce a USD 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 per cent 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 five 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 core, the Company is currently at an annual net revenue run rate of ~200 crore with the aim to double this in the next 12 months.
“With SUGAR’s 6X jump in revenues over the last two fiscal years, we are extremely grateful to all ourtics raises USD 21mn in Series C funding from Elevation 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 per cent 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,” said Vineeta Singh, Co-founder and CEO, SUGAR Cosmetics, speaking on the brand’s growth.
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.
“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,” said Deepak Gaur, Partner, Elevation Capital, speaking on this investment.
Vertices Partners acted as legal counsels for SUGAR Cosmetics in this Series C round.
SUGAR Cosmetics, a cult-favourite amongst Gen Z and millennials, is one of the fastest-growing premium beauty brands in India. With its clutter-breaking persona, signature low-poly packaging and chart-topping products, SUGAR is the makeup of choice for bold, independent women who refuse to be stereotyped into roles. Crafted in state-of-the-art facilities across Germany, Italy, India, USA and Korea, the brand ships its bestselling products in Lips, Eyes, Face, Nails & Skin categories across the world. With a cruelty-free range that is high on style and higher on performance, the brand is obsessed with crafting products that are a perfect match for every Indian skin tone across seasons and around the calendar. Backed by the trust of marquee investors and the love of millions of makeup enthusiasts, SUGAR Cosmetics is rapidly scaling its physical presence with 10,000+ retail outlets as of 2020 across 130+ cities and a mission of reaching the doorstep of every makeup user in the country.
Elevation Capital, which was previously known as SAIF Partners India, is an India-focused venture capital fund, investing in early-stage startups since 2002. Elevation has been the first investor in market-leading companies like Paytm, Swiggy, Urban Company, Meesho, FirstCry, Acko, Rivigo, NoBroker and ShareChat in the past. In the Consumer space, Elevation’s portfolio includes brands such as Chaayos, Country Delight, FabAlley / Indya, Yogabar and Mosaic Wellness.