Emami to buy 30% in male grooming startup The Man Company

Fast-moving consumer goods maker Emami Ltd said on Thursday it has agreed to buy a 30% stake in Helios Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, which owns the male grooming brand The Man Company.

The deal marks Emami’s foray into the fast-growing online male grooming segment, the company said in a stock-exchange filing.

Emani will acquire the stake in two stages; it has already bought 20.45% and will purchase the remaining by the end of December 2018. It didn’t disclose the deal value citing confidentiality reasons.

The Man Company offers a head-to-toe range of men’s premium grooming products in bath and body, beard management, shaving and perfume category. The company sells its products online through its own website and other e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart and Nykaa.

“This investment is in line with the company’s strategy of leveraging online opportunities brought about by rapid digitization, which is the future, and will also help us to be present in the premium end of growing male grooming segment,” said Harsha V Agarwal, director, Emami.

Emami operates in the male grooming segment through its brands Fair and Handsome, and HE.

Helios Lifestyle

The company, which was set up in 2013, was initially engaged in the trading business. It reported revenue of Rs 5.6 crore in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2017, compared with Rs 1.1 crore in the previous financial year.

The company was founded by Hitesh Dhingra, Rohit Chawla, Parvesh Bareja and Bhisham Bhateja. It launched The Man Company brand in 2015.

The company had secured an undisclosed amount in funding from angel investors, including Microsoft India’s managing director Karan Bajwa in September 2015.

Tapping into male grooming segment

Male grooming products are increasingly becoming popular as men are growing more and more conscious about their looks, the statement said.

Helios Lifestyle’s Dhingra said that the male grooming segment is hugely untapped and is being disrupted by startups globally using digital media for marketing and distribution.

Others startups in men’s grooming segment include Bombay Shaving Company, Ustraa and LetsShave. Bombay Shaving Company raised Rs 4 crore (nearly $600,000) in seed funding last year.

Earlier this year, Marico Ltd, the maker of Parachute hair oil and Saffola cooking oil, entered the male grooming market by picking up a stake in Zed Lifestyle Pvt Ltd, which owns Beardo.

Beardo, backed by actor-turned-entrepreneur Suniel Shetty, had raised $500,000 (Rs 3.32 crore) in seed funding from Mumbai-based Venture Catalysts, Raj Vazirani of RHV Enterprise and Siddharth Somaiya of Godavari Biorefineries and Somaiya Group last year.

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