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Fri, 7 Aug 2020 | The Economic Times
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IIFL invests Rs 50 crore in men’s grooming brand Ustaraa

Financial services company IIFL Group’s second seed fund has invested Rs 50 crore in men’s grooming start-up Happily Unmarried Marketing, which sells products online under the brand name of Ustaraa. IIFL Seed Ventures Fund II, which was set up by IIFL Asset Management in July last year, has a corpus of around Rs 1,000 crore and it focuses on companies across nancial services, consumer, healthcare and technology segments, mainly at the growth stage.

The deal values Happily Unmarried Marketing at around Rs 220 crore. One of the early entrants in the men-grooming segment, Happily Unmarried was founded by Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli in 2007, the company sells beard oils, beard wash and waxes, soaps, cologne trimmers and other products. Happily Unmarried had earlier raised funds from Info Edge and Wipro Consumer Care, the personal care arm of Wipro Enterprises.

The deal happened over rounds of video-conferencing due to Covid-19 pandemic and the business plan and valuation of the company were accordingly adjusted, to accommodate for changes brought by Covid-19, insiders said.

The men’s grooming sector has witnessed strong growth in the last 5 years, with Indian men experimenting with facial hair. As per various estimates, the market has touched Rs 10,000 crore in 2020, from just over Rs 3,000 crore in 2016. This has led to mushrooming of start-ups and a lot of nancial investors looking at opportunities to invest.

Last month, Indian FMCG company Marico, which owned 45% in Beardo, bought out other shareholders in the company, giving exit to early investors Venture Catalysts and actor Suniel Shetty.

Last year, Kolkata-based FMCG rm Emami had upped its stake in The Man Company to 30% and as per media reports, Emami was in talks to acquire a majority stake in the company. Actor Ayushmann Khurrana also owns sweat equity in the Man Company. Delhi-based Bombay Shaving Company counts Colgate-Palmolive and Fireside Ventures as investors.