Mumbai-based health and beauty e-commerce platform Marico has acquired a 45 per cent stake in male grooming platform Beardo.

The acquisition amount was not disclosed but India seed investment and innovation company Venture Catalyst, which backs Beardo, said that the equity is expected to be acquired in two years, following primary infusion and secondary buy-outs.

It certainly feels like an achievement to have another immensely promising company from the Venture Catalysts portfolio successfully cutting through the acquisition deal. We recognized the stellar potential of Beardo during the preliminary stages of its seed investment,” said Venture Catalysts co-founder Dr. Apporv Ranjan Sharma.

Founded in 2015 by Ahmadabad-based Zed lifestyle, Beardo offers a suite of men’s personal grooming products including growth oil, wax and shampoo for beards; wax and serum for hair; and lotion, soap and face wash for the skin.

Previously, Beardo raised US$860,290 in two rounds from Apoorv Ranjan Sharma,
Artha India Ventures, Anirudh Damani, Raj Vazirani, Rohit Parakh, and Siddharth Somaiya, according to crunchbase.

Also Read: Foreign early-stage funds in India lack execution capabilities: Venture Catalysts’ Apoorv Ranjan Sharma

Marico said that the male grooming market is currently valued at about Rs 3,200-crore (US$490 million), and, according to a report by Assocham India, has grown by 42 per cent in the five years before 2016.

This can be attributed to a demand in men seeking to gain more youthful look, partly due to a need to increase their employment chances in an increasingly competitive market, as well as a rise in disposable income.

The explosion of social media and selfies usage among the younger demographic (Chinese photo and video editing app Meitu’s biggest market outside of China is India), and more Indian celebrities advertising male grooming products have also contributed to this uptick.

And besides Beardo and Marico, other India-based male grooming startups including The Man Company and shaving products subscription service LetsShave.com have sprung up to tackle this demand.

Image Credit: Beardo