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Amicus Capital leads Series B funding for personal care startup mCaffeine
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Personal care brand mCaffeine has raised $5.7 million (Rs 42 crore) in its Series B round of funding led by homegrown mid-market private equity firm Amicus Capital.

VCCircle was the first to report early this month that Amicus is set to join the Mumbai-based company as a new investor.

The firm's existing investors RP-SG Ventures and Telama Investments also participated in this round.

"Apart from research and development (R&D), we will invest in expanding our distribution across digital channels and continue to grow our operations, brand-building..." said Tarun Sharma, co-founder of mCaffeine.

Sharma says there are about 20 products in the portfolio and the startup plans to further launch 15-20 products in the next one year.

"We are very impressed with mCaffeine’s research-led product development and intensive engagement with consumers across social media. The company has also demonstrated very healthy unit economics while delivering high revenue growth," said Sunil Theckath Vasudevan, co-founder of Amicus.

Amicus was started by Vasudevan, a former partner at PE firm True North. Mahesh Parasuraman, a former managing director at US-based PE firm Carlyle, joined Amicus in 2015.

The PE firm’s portfolio includes companies such as digital insurance platform ReNewBuy, kitchen appliances and cookware firm Wonderchef and Berar Finance Ltd, which runs a two-wheeler-focussed financing unit.

mCaffeine, operated by PEP Technologies Pvt. Ltd, makes caffeine-infused personal care products. It was founded by Sharma and Vikas Lachhwani in October 2016. 

Lachhwani was part of the operations team at self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar while Sharma used to head operations at cloud kitchen startup Box8.

mCaffeine makes products under three major categories – face care, hair care and body care. It claims to have sold more than 2.8 million products amounting to Rs 100 crore in just 4 years of launch.

It had secured Series A funding last year from investors led by RP-SG Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund sponsored by the diversified RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. 

Its other investors include LV Angel Fund, Telama Investments, Apurva Salarpuria and Wazir Advisors founder Harminder Sahni.

The company posted net sales of Rs 4.5 crore for the year 2018-19 as against Rs 1.1 crore the year before, as per VCCEdge (www.VCCEdge.com), the data research platform of Mosaic Digital.

Personal care market

The broader beauty and personal-care segment has attracted a slew of investors over the past few years. 

Beauty products e-tailer Nykaa raised capital from existing investors Sunil Kant Munjal, one of the promoters of Hero Group, and Steadview Capital earlier this year. Its other investors include TVS Capital, Lighthouse Funds and TPG.

In January, Manash Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, which operates beauty products and services marketplace Purplle.com, raised Rs 56 crore from Verlinvest SA in an extended Series C round.

Mid-market private equity firm Samara Capital inked back-to-back deals to acquire cosmetics firms Blue Heaven and Nature’s Essence last year. In June last year, beauty and makeup products brand MyGlamm secured Rs 100 crore in a funding round led by US-headquartered Bessemer Venture Partners and the Mankekar family office.

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