Bombay Shaving Company, a male grooming products startup, on Tuesday announced that it has raised $2.5 million from Fireside Ventures in Pre-series A funding. Fireside Ventures specializes in early seed investments. Several high net worth individuals (HNIs) including S Ramadorai (former CEO of TCS) also participated in the round.
Bombay Shaving’s founder Shantanu Deshpande said that the company will channelize the fresh funds towards brand building initiatives and introducing new range of products. According to the reports, the company plans to launch new products in beard grooming category – oils, conditioner and wax. Interestingly, this category till now has been dominated by Bombay Shaving’s Ahmadabad-based rival Beardo.
Deshpande also disclosed about a large food packaging company offering to make strategic investment in his company. But the company decided to reject this offer and instead chose to make Fireside Ventures as its strategic partner.
Launched in 2016, Bombay Shaving Company positions itself as a luxury male grooming company and predominately sells male shaving products. The company currently sells its products only through online channels, primarily through its official website and other e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. However, the company very well plans to expand its presence on offline channels by tying up with retail chains and salon parlors.
Today Bombay Shaving is one of the several startups that are trying to tap into India’s fast growing men’s grooming market. Growing annually at 15-20%, today the Indian men’s grooming market is approximately worth Rs 9,000-crore. But for startups cracking this lucrative market won’t be easy, given that established brands like Gillette and Emami are currently dominating this market.
Some of the well-known startups in this space include Ustraa, Beardo, LetsShave, The Man Company. In a major development, Marico Ltd that owns popular brand Parachute earlier this year picked up 45% stake in Beardo’s parent company Zed Lifestyle.