After researching about caffeine and caffeine-related products, in January 2016, Sharma, along with friends Vikas Lachhwani, Vaishali Gupta, Mohit Jain and Saurabh Singhal started mCaffeine, India’s first hair and skin care brand with caffeine-infused products. While Lachhwani is head of research and development, Sharma is CEO. “We realised there were very few global companies that made caffeine-infused products and we were in fact the first ones in India. Now, the industry makes over 70 products with caffeine in them,” says Gupta, who looks after brand and marketing at mCaffeine, touted as a challenger brand in the luxury skin care category in India. The products are sold online in packaging that looks like a poker set, making it appealing to the new age online buyer, and the company is clear there will be no discounting.
In September 2020, mCaffeine raised its Series-B funding of ₹42 crore led by Amicus Capital. Others who participated in the round include RPSG Ventures, Telama Investments. RPSG Ventures had also backed them in their previous round when they led the $2 million investment in the company along with other investors. Over the last four years, the company has managed to sell 2.8 million products amounting to ₹100 crore.
“We will utilise the funds in scaling up our research and development capabilities significantly to consistently deliver high-quality products that are well differentiated. Our soap bar has been patented and we will be launching newer products in the coming year,” adds Gupta.
“Apart from R&D, we will invest in expanding our distribution across digital channels and continue to grow our operations,” says Singhal who, apart from being co-founder, oversees the supply chain of the company. Jain is head of ecommerce.
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“Within a short period the founders have built mCaffeine into a leader in the personal care category. They have a deeper understanding of the aspirations of millennials, which reflects in every aspect of their products. The company has also demonstrated very healthy unit economics while delivering high revenue growth,” says Sunil Theckath Vasudevan, co-founder and partner at Amicus Capital.