VLCC Acquires Ustraa, Expanding Presence in Men’s Grooming Market
India’s renowned beauty and skincare brand, VLCC, made an exciting announcement on June 9th. The company has successfully acquired Happily Unmarried Marketing Private Limited (Ustraa) through a strategic combination of secondary buy-out and share swap.
Following the merger, VLCC plans to make substantial investments to drive the growth of Ustraa, which currently generates 67 percent of its sales through online channels.
Ustraa, established by Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli in 2015, boasts a wide range of 85 products, including fragrances, hair care, and face and beard care. With over 2.2 million customers on their app, Ustraa has attracted significant investments from prominent backers like InfoEdge, 360 One (formerly IIFL Ventures), and Wipro.
Vikas Gupta, CEO of VLCC, expressed his admiration for Ustraa’s prominent position in the rapidly expanding men’s grooming market, particularly in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) segment. Gupta also acknowledged the founders’ comprehensive understanding of the online D2C ecosystem, encompassing digital marketing, e-commerce, and swift product innovation. These factors have propelled Ustraa’s remarkable growth within a short span of time. With this acquisition, VLCC aims to venture into the men’s grooming market and intends to expedite Ustraa’s growth trajectory by leveraging VLCC’s extensive offline distribution network across India. Simultaneously, Ustraa’s technological and digital expertise will empower VLCC’s existing product business to flourish in the new age of commerce.
Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, the Founders of Ustraa, expressed their confidence in the partnership with VLCC. They stated that VLCC represents an ideal strategic collaborator, enabling them to expand their customer base, particularly in the offline retail sector. The founders praised VLCC’s strong management, supported by Carlyle globally, and their abundant resources and sector expertise. This alliance is expected to fuel significant brand growth and an expanded product range. Both brands anticipate accelerated progress in brand building, sales, marketing, and distribution. They eagerly look forward to embarking on this exciting journey as part of the VLCC family.
Sanjeev Bikhchandani, representing InfoEdge, expressed his optimism about the synergies that will be unlocked through the VLCC-Ustraa merger. Drawing from their experience in building successful consumer businesses like Naukri and 99acres, as well as their investments in companies like Zomato and Policybazaar, InfoEdge is confident in the potential for this partnership to become a leading consumer business in the beauty and personal care domain.
They are eager to collaborate closely with the management team and Carlyle following the merger. InfoEdge also acknowledged VLCC’s focused strategy of scaling up their product business through digital channels and high-quality product innovation, aligning perfectly with Ustraa’s core principles.
Trilegal and KPMG provided advisory services to VLCC throughout the acquisition process, while EY acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Happily Unmarried Marketing Private Limited (HUMPL) and its investors.
Mrs. Vandana Luthra established a beauty and weight management services center in 1989, which later evolved into the VLCC Group. In 1996, the company was incorporated and became one of the pioneering corporate operations with multiple outlets in the skincare, beauty, and wellness industry in India.
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