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RP-SG Ventures leads investment in personal care startup mCaffeine
Photo Credit: 123RF.com

Personal care brand mCaffeine said on Tuesday that it has raised $2 million (Rs 13.8 crore at the current exchange rate) in a Series A round of funding from a clutch of investors led by RP-SG Ventures.

RP-SG Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund sponsored by the diversified RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.

mCaffeine, which manufactures caffeine-infused personal care products, said in a statement that other investors who participated in the round included LV Angel Fund, Telama Investments and individual investors Apurva Salarpuria and KRS Jamwal. Wazir Advisors founder Harminder Sahni and Kaushal Aggarwal, both existing investors, pitched in as well.

“For us, research is paramount. The recently acquired funds will be utilised to further invest in research and development, expand distribution across digital channels and to continue to grow our operations,” said mCaffeine co-founder Vikas Lachhwani. “Along with this, mCaffeine plans to expand its product portfolio to include 30 more products in the next 12 months.”

Operated by PEP Technologies Pvt. Ltd, mCaffeine was founded by Lachhwani and Sharma in October 2016. Lachhwani was earlier part of the operations team at self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar while Sharma used to head operations at cloud kitchen startup Box8.

mCaffeine's products are currently housed under three major categories -- face care, hair care and body care -- and the brand currently has 10 products in its portfolio. With an e-commerce driven approach, mCaffeine's products are available on its portal and are also sold on other online platforms including Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart.

mCaffeine claims to have served more than half-a-million customers since its inception.

“Currently, our products are available at 18,000 pin codes across India. We will increase our online and offline presence substantially,” said Sharma, who is also the chief executive officer of mCaffeine. “mCaffeine focuses on India for now with global potential for the future.”

The startup had previously raised $500,000 from Harminder Sahni and Kaushal Aggarwal.

According to a report by industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), the personal care market in India is set to touch $20 billion by 2025 from the current $6.5 billion on the back of rise in disposable income of middle class and growing aspirations of people.

RP-SG Ventures

RP-SG Ventures is a $50 million venture capital fund registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). It is focussed on investing in early-stage consumer businesses across their Series A and B rounds, with ticket sizes ranging from $500,000-3 million. The fund plans to primarily back companies in the FMCG, lifestyle products and consumer technology sectors.

In June last year, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group hired Abhishek Goenka, a former executive at private equity firm True North, to help launch the fund.

In November, pop culture merchandise startup The Souled Store raised Rs 21 crore (around $3 million) in a funding round led by RP-SG Ventures.

RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group has also made a few bets on the consumer segment, which includes launching an eatables business under the Too Yumm brand in 2017.

Deals in the personal care segment

Mid-market private equity firm Samara Capital recently inked back-to-back deals in the personal care segment, investing in cosmetics firms Blue Heaven and Nature’s Essence.

In January this year, early-stage investment firm DSG Consumer Partners invested in personal care products maker Arata Zero Chemicals.

A number of companies in the broader beauty and wellness segment have also attracted investor interest over the past year.

Last September, mid-market private equity firm Lighthouse Advisors had invested in beauty e-tailer Nykaa.

In June last year, Mumbai-based Manash Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, which operates beauty products and services marketplace Purplle.com, had secured around Rs 17.50 crore ($2.56 million) from a clutch of investors.

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