Bengaluru, 17th August 2022: Premium D2C Personal Care brand Zlade has raised 1.1 Crores from Velocity.in, India's largest revenue-based financier, across 3 rounds of financing. The brand is also in advanced talks to raise another 6-8 Crores in Equity funding from some marquee investors and family offices based in India and the US.Pune-based Zlade was founded in 2015 and is one of India's leading brands in the shaving and manscaping category. With a strong focus on quality, Zlade’s vast line of products such as razors, shaving kits and body hair trimmers. Zlade has also recently partnered with a European maker of quality razor blades to bring world class shaving products to India.
The D2C brand was started with the intent of providing quality razors at an affordable price, in order to break the monopoly held by the current market leader, and now offers a variety of products ranging from shaving razors to body hair trimmers. “We want to provide world-class grooming products for men at honest and affordable prices. With Zlade Ballistic, we are one of the first brands to bring manscaping products to India with products designed especially for Men’s intimate grooming and hair removal.” said Suraj Chaudhari, Co-founder, Co-CEO of Zlade.
Zlade has been on an exponential growth trajectory and recently also joined the Startup India program run by the Government of India. The brand has a massive online presence and in addition to its own website also has significant presence on marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, and Nykaa. Zlade saw 400% YoY growth in FY 2021-22 and closed the financial year with an annual run rate of Rs 12 crore. In addition to its online presence, Zlade has set its sights on going omni-channel and is therefore focusing increasingly on offline distribution and brand-building efforts across India.
Speaking about the omni channel approach to growth, Suraj said "We started initially as a D2C only business and then transitioned to also selling our products on various marketplaces. Our focus now is on rapidly scaling our offline presence. Zlade products are already available across 5,000 retail outlets in Maharasthra, Goa, MP, Chattisgarh, NCR and the North East and we are targeting 10,000 stores in the next few months.”
“The funding from Velocity is like a shot in the arm for our business. It validates our business’s fundamental strength and gives us the boost needed to scale our operations. We will use this funding to finance our inventory as we scale and to ramp up our marketing efforts. With this extra push, we're confident that we can take our business to the next level!” he added.
India’s favourable demographic trends add further fuel to Zlade’s growth story, an increase in consumers with disposable income and growing working population are collectively increasing the addressable market for India’s grooming products market. Indian male grooming is projected to grow at over 20.97 percent per annum to cross a market size of $590.54 million by FY2026.
Speaking about the round of financing, Atul Khichirya, Co-founder & COO of Velocity, said, "We are excited to partner with Zlade! Emerging brands like Zlade are growing rapidly since consumers today display lower brand stickiness and are willing to try newer brands if they trump incumbents on price and quality. Sectoral tailwinds coupled with high margins indicate amazing growth potential for Zlade. We look forward to developing a long-standing relationship with them and financing their growth as they scale!"
Velocity.in, a Bengaluru-based fintech, is India's largest revenue-based financier. Since commencing operations in early 2020, the fintech has worked with over 2,500 e-commerce businesses. With Rs 2,100 crore of fundable revenues connected to Velocity’s platform, the fintech has already processed 550+ D2C investments.
Velocity was launched in early 2020 by IIT Bombay graduates Abhiroop Medhekar, Atul Khichariya, and Saurav Swaroop. The founding team has a strong background in India's financial services and tech startup ecosystem. They previously worked in companies like Elevation Capital (earlier SAIF Partners), McKinsey, Acko Insurance, and HackerRank. Velocity is their second tryst with entrepreneurship. The trio had earlier worked together at Taskbob, a managed marketplace for high-quality home services.
Zlade started as a shaving focused brand and now has expanded to head to toe hair removal with products ranging from Men's shaving (Zlade), Men's Intimate Grooming (Ballistic), and Women's shaving (Summer). Zlade Ballistic is one of the first brands to introduce Manscaping products in India, and it’s Ballistic Body Trimmers are the only trimmers in India which are specially designed for use on Intimate and sensitive body parts.
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