Singapore’s GIC invests $48 mn in PE-backed Wow Skin
Photo Credit: Reuters

Skincare and wellness brand Wow Skin Science has raised ₹375 crore ($48 million) from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, a month after announcing the investor’s participation in the latest funding round.

With the fundraise, GIC will hold 17.24% in the company on a fully diluted basis, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies. The transaction may have valued the company to be around $270-280 million.

On 18 May, the company announced that GIC has been roped as a new institutional backer.

In December, VCCircle reported that Wow Skin Science was in discussion with institutional funds to raise $50 million in a fresh round of funding at a valuation of nearly ₹3,000 crore ($395 million).

Wow Skin Science also intends to make organic launches and strategic inorganic investments, the company had said in a statement earlier. It is also backed by homegrown private equity fund ChrysCapital.

Details on the shareholders who sold their stake in the secondary transaction were not available.

Wow Skin Science was launched in 2014 as a nutritional supplement startup by four digital marketers—Ashwin Sokke, Manish Chowdhary, Karan Chowdhary and Arvind Sokke.

Gradually, the founders introduced paraben-free, sulphate-free, mineral oil-free cosmetics through the WOW brand. Later, three other brands—Nutrava, Body Cupid and Shaving Station – were added.

The firm offers supplements, herbal blends, creams, serums, lotions, shampoos, bath and body products, men’s grooming products, essential oils, and massagers, among others. It also has a US-based subsidiary.

Apart from selling through its own website, Buy Wow, the company retails products through other e-commerce platforms. It has also partnered beauty stores in Mumbai and retail chains such as Westside, among others.

Fundraising activity in the broader beauty and personal care segment has surged over the last few months.

India has been witnessing the rise of direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands across categories and is estimated to have a $100 billion addressable market by 2025, according to an October 2021 note by Avendus.

On 9 June, online beauty products marketplace Purplle announced that it has turned unicorn after raising $33 million (₹256 crore) in a fresh round of funding.

In May, Sugar Cosmetics, operated by Vellvette Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, secured a Series D funding of $50 million (₹388 crore) led by US-based private equity fund L. Catterton.

In March, personal care brand Plum raised $35 million (₹270 crore) as a part of its Series C round of funding led by A91 Partners.

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