Sequoia leads Series B funding in Mamaearth as seed investors exit
(L-R) Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Varun Alagh and Ghazal Alagh

Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd, which operates fast-moving consumer goods brand Mamaearth, has raised Rs 130 crore (approximately $18.2 million at current exchange rates) in its Series B funding round led by Sequoia India, the domestic arm of the US-based venture capital firm.

Existing investors Fireside Ventures, Stellaris Venture Partners and Sharp Ventures also participated in the round, Mamaearth said in a statement.

The round also saw some angel investors exiting the company with over 20x returns on their investments.

Varun Alagh, co-founder and chief executive officer at Mamaearth, said the firm’s vision is to create the FMCG conglomerate of the future by building brands that connect strongly with millennials and Gen Z customers.

The company is currently focussing on building a new range of direct-to-consumer brands using an internet-first approach to target its core audiences.

Separately, Sequoia Capital India principal Ishaan Mittal said the firm was confident in its investment because of the Mamaearth founders’ goal of creating a multi-brand cross-geography FMCG company during the next decade.

The Gurugram-based company was founded in 2016 by husband-and-wife duo Varun and Ghazal Alagh, Mamaearth’s product portfolio includes toxin-free body lotions, rash creams, shampoo, body wash, massage oil, and baby care products.

In April 2018, the startup secured an undisclosed amount of equity funding from Bollywood actor and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty. In December 2016, the company raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by Fireside, besides a clutch of high net-worth individuals.

Mamaearth is the latest brand in the FMCG segment to receive investor attention, with startups and established conglomerates seeking to appeal to more brand- and quality-conscious consumers.

Earlier this week, for instance, coffee products brand Rage Coffee raised funding from a clutch of investors led by early-stage technology startup investor Refex Capital. Members of angel network Keiretsu Forum's Chennai chapter, Wazir Advisors founder Harminder Sahni and former CavinKare joint managing director TD Mohan also invested.

In November last year, non-alcoholic beer maker Coolberg raised $3.5 million (around Rs 25 crore) in a Series A funding round led by Singapore-based family office RB Investments and existing investor India Quotient. In October, whole foods and dairy products startup Credence Whole Foods Pvt. Ltd raised over $1 million (Rs 7.08 crore) from IndoCan Honey Pvt. Ltd.

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