Stellaris Venture leads Series A funding round in babycare startup Mamaearth
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Honasa Consumer Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates babycare products startup Mamaearth, has raised $4 million (Rs 28 crore) in its Series A round of funding.

The round was led by early-stage venture capital firm Stellaris Venture Partners, Mamaearth said in a statement. The company’s existing investors--Fireside Ventures, Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; Marico's Rishabh Mariwala, who manages Sharrp Ventures--also participated in the round.

The company will use the capital to expand its team, invest in product research and development, build a retail presence and scale up its direct consumer reach.

“We now want to build a strong offline presence as well to become a household name when it comes to baby and mama care products,” co-founder Varun Alagh said.

Founded in 2016 by the husband-and-wife duo Varun and Ghazal Alagh, the startup's product portfolio includes body lotions, rash creams, shampoo, body wash, massage oil and bug sprays for children up to the age of five years. It also offers non-preservative products for lactation, stress relief and pospartum weight loss for expecting and new mothers.

Varun said parents from about 120 cities have bought products from the company's website since it was launched two years ago. 

“Mamaearth is our first pick in this space where the brand, category as well as values seem to be a great fit with our vision,” said Rahul Chowdhri of Stellaris Venture Partners. As part of the transaction, Chowdhri will join the company's board.

The startup sells its products through online platforms such as Amazon, FirstCry, Nykaa, Flipkart, Paytm as well as its own website. 

It claims to have more than 1 lakh customers and aims to more than double that number by the end of this year.

More than 90% of Mamaearth's sales take place through online channels. Its products are available at more than 300 stores across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and the company plans to expand to 10 cities.

Earlier this year, the firm had raised an undisclosed amount in equity investment from Bollywood actress and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty Kundra

The company had last September mobilised $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore then) in its second round of funding led by Fireside Ventures and other investors. In December 2016, the company had secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by Fireside, besides a clutch of high net-worth individuals.

Babycare segment

Pune-based Brainbees Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs FirstCry, is the best-funded baby products e-tailer in India. It has raised more than $125 million from a clutch of investors including IDG Ventures, Valiant Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates, SAIF Partners and Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata. 

Mumbai-based is also a well-funded player but peers such as Hushbabies have had to shut shop.

Last September, Amishi Consumer Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs pregnancy and baby care products firm The Moms Co., raised $1 million (Rs 6.5 crore then) in a Series A round of funding co-led by DSG Consumer Partners and Saama Capital.

In the broader childcare segment, Bengaluru-based parenting startup BabyOnBoard raised seed investment from a clutch of individual investors in March last year.

Delhi-based online maternity and parenting lifestyle management startup Baby Destination secured $312,000 (Rs 2 crore) last December from GEMs Partners, a micro venture capital fund, and Tariq Khan, an angel investor based in New York.

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