VLCC, India's premium beauty and skincare brand has announced the acquisition of Happily Unmarried Marketing Private Limited (Ustraa) through a combination of secondary buy-out and share swap. This partnership brings together two pioneering home-grown personal care brands - combining Ustraa's leading position in men's grooming range with VLCC's growing skincare products portfolio. Post merger, VLCC will make further investments to accelerate the growth of Ustraa.
Founded in 2015 by Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, Ustraa was one of India's first D2C brand focused on men's grooming. Today, 67% of Ustraa's sales come from online channel. The brand has 85+ SKUs across fragrances, hair care, face and beard care and had 2.2mn customers on their own app. Ustraa is backed by marquee investors including InfoEdge, 360 One (formerly IIFL Ventures) and Wipro.
Vikas Gupta, CEO, VLCC said, “We are impressed with Ustraa's leading position in fast growing men’s grooming market, especially the D2C channel. Both founders have a deep understanding of the online D2C ecosystem including digital marketing, ecommerce and fast product innovation cycle which has enabled them to scale Ustraa in a short period of time. This acquisition marks VLCC’s foray into men’s grooming market and our aim is to accelerate Ustraa’s growth journey by leveraging VLCC’s pan-India offline distribution. In parallel, VLCC’s existing product business will benefit from Ustraa’s tech and digital expertise to scale up in new age commerce.”
“VLCC represents a perfect strategic partner to help us broaden our customer reach, especially in offline retail. VLCC’s strong management, well supported by Carlyle globally, brings the resources and sector expertise which can enable us to significantly grow our brand further and expand the range of products. We believe our combined expertise in brand building, sales and marketing and distribution will create faster growth for both brands and we are excited to embark on the journey forward as part of the VLCC family,” said Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, Founders of Ustraa.
Sanjeev Bikhchandani of InfoEdge added, "At InfoEdge, we have built leading consumer businesses like Naukri and 99acres and have invested in companies like Zomato and Policybazaar where we have been part of their scale up journey since inception. We are bullish about the synergies that can be realized in this VLCC-Ustraa merger for the platform to become a leading consumer business in the beauty and personal care space and look forward to working closely with the management team and Carlyle post-merger. VLCC’s focused strategy to scale up their products business using digital channels and high-quality product innovation is in sync with Ustraa's founding principles."
Trilegal and KPMG advised VLCC on the acquisition. EY acted as exclusive financial advisor to HUMPL and its investors.