Roots Ventures leads pre-Series A funding in ayurvedic beauty brand Just Herbs
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APCOS Naturals Pvt. Ltd, which markets ayurvedic beauty brand Just Herbs, has raised $1.5 million (Rs 10.72 crore at current exchange rate) in a pre-Series A funding round led by Mumbai-based Roots Ventures.

In a statement, Chandigarh-based Just Herbs said a clutch of family offices, high net-worth individuals and corporate executives also participated in the funding round.

The company will use the money it has raised for expanding its product range as well as boosting distribution. It will also use the capital for acquiring new customers. Gurugram-based wealth management and investment banking firm Client Associates advised Just Herbs on the funding round.

“Conscious consumption is a very strong theme in beauty and Just Herbs, with its sharp focus on product quality and customer engagement, has all the right ingredients to become a leading player in this space,” Roots Ventures founder Japan Vyas said.

Just Herbs co-founder and chief executive officer Arush Chopra said the company was looking forward to working with Roots Ventures because of its alignment with the long-term vision for the brand.

The company says it is a completely cruelty-free, ayurveda-based direct-to-consumer brand that offers over 70 products for skin, hair, bath and body and makeup. It says it develops products by crowdsourcing customer feedback through social media.

Roots Ventures

Vyas founded Roots Ventures in November last year after leaving Sixth Sense Ventures, where he was managing partner.

Roots Ventures was formed in partnership with Ravinder Vashist, who previously worked with mid-market private equity firm Banyantree Finance Pvt. Ltd. According to reports, Hunch Ventures founder Karanpal Singh picked up a significant minority stake in Mumbai-based Roots Ventures.

The firm reportedly raised a corpus of Rs 300 crore for its first fund, Roots Ventures-I. Other companies it has invested in from the fund include sweetmeat packaging and preservation startup Misht, healthy food startup Kaarya Naturals Pvt. Ltd, and pet products and hygiene startup Captain Zack.

Deals in the Ayurvedic products segment

There has been an uptick in investor interest in ayurveda and organic product startups and firms in recent months as the consumer market for products made with natural ingredients grows.

In June, for example, startup accelerator Risers Accelerator invested Rs 1 crore (around $144,100) in ayurvedic organic skincare product maker Cosmeto Food Organic Pvt. Ltd, which sells its products under the Cosmetofood brand.

Earlier that month, the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group acquired a majority stake in a Mumbai-based company that makes ayurvedic products for Rs 32.17 crore ($4.6 million). The diversified conglomerate, which has interests in sectors such as energy, retail, and technology, made the acquisition through unit CESC Ventures Ltd.

In September last year, a private debt fund of UTI Capital Pvt. Ltd invested Rs 50 crore in Maharishi Ayurveda Products Pvt. Ltd, which has two factories in Noida and Faridabad that make a range of ayurvedic products. 

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