Wow Skin Science attracts Singapore\'s GIC as new investor
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Skincare and wellness brand Wow Skin Science on Wednesday said it is raising primary capital from Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.

"This investment will enable us to drive sustainable yet disruptive growth and to strengthen our organisation with top notch talent," said Manish Chowdhary, Co-Founder, Wow Skin Science, in a statement without disclosing the financial details of the transaction.

In December last year, 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 Rs 3,000 crore ($395 million).

Wow Skin Science also intends to make organic launches and strategic inorganic investments with an aim to grow into a House of Loved Brands, the statement added.

The fresh funding comes just a little over a year after Wow Skin Science raised $50 million from homegrown private equity firm ChrysCapital in April 2021

The transaction was a combination of primary capital infusion and a secondary sale by existing shareholders.

"We (ChrysCapital) continue to be extremely confident of the strong brand resonance among the millennials and the outstanding team at the helm to make Wow one of the most loved D2C (direct-to-consumer) brands globally,” said Ashish Agrawal, Managing Director, ChrysCapital.

Wow Skin Science was launched in 2014 as a nutritional supplement's startup by four digital marketers -- Ashwin Sokke, Manish Chowdhary, Karan Chowdhary and Arvind Sokke. The founders introduced paraben-free, sulphate-free and 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. The company also has a US-based subsidiary.

Apart from selling through its own website Buy Wow, the company retails products through ecommerce platforms Amazon India, Flipkart and Nykaa.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 D2C brands across categories and is estimated to have a $100 billion addressable market by 2025, according to an October 2021 note by Avendus.

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

Singapore’s GIC has been an aggressive investor in the Indian startup ecosystem. Last month, VCCircle reported GIC is leading a fresh funding round in Kunal Shah-founded Dreamplug Technologies Pvt Ltd, which operates the credit card platform Cred. It also owns stake in owns stakes in other Indian fintech businesses such as Razorpay and Paytm.  

Last year, GIC also led a Series C funding round in logistics management startup Locus.

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