FMCG firm Marico acquires Beardo; Venture Catalysts exits company

FMCG firm Marico acquires Beardo; Venture Catalysts exits company
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Mumbai-based fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Marico has acquired Ahmedabad headquartered Zed Lifestyle-run grooming products platform Beardo. While the former had picked up a 45% stake in the company in 2017, the current deal marks a complete acquisition. 

Although the financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, early stage investor Venture Catalysts said it received a nearly eight-fold return on its original investment of $500,000 made in 2016 along with angel investors.

“With Marico’s acquisition of Beardo, VCats has taken a complete exit at stellar valuations. We wish the Beardo team great success and hope to see it become a global brand,” Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, founder of Venture Catalysts, said. 

In the past four years, Venture Catalysts has exited 20 other investments in companies such as Fynd, which was acquired by Reliance Industries; Supr, which Swiggy bought; Innov8, acquired by OYO; Vahanalytics, acquired by Rapido; and Siftr, acquired by Apus. So far this year, it has invested in 19 startups -- it recently backed fintech firm HomeCapital, job search portal MyKaam and robotics company Peppermint.

Men’s grooming market is currently valued at Rs 10,000 crore, a jump from Rs 3,200 crore in 2016. The Beardo buy will help Marico, which currently markets the Set Wet brand, boost its own product portfolio in the segment and expand beyond gels and deodorants.

Beardo, which was founded by Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah in 2015, sells men’s grooming products such as beard oils, beard waxes, soaps and other facial hair treatments. The company sells its products through online channels, which make up 75% of its revenues, and in physical stores and salons as well. 

The company counts actor Suniel Shetty as an investor and recently roped in actor Hrithik Roshan as its brand ambassador. 

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