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Razor-sharp: Wipro buys more stake in LetsShave

Three years after picking up a minority stake in the Chandigarh-based startup, Wipro Consumer Care Ventures leads a new round of funding in the unisex grooming company

Rajiv Singh
Published: May 30, 2023 11:08:42 AM IST
Updated: May 30, 2023 11:17:58 AM IST

Razor-sharp: Wipro buys more stake in LetsShaveSidharth Oberoi, founder of LetsShave

The venture arm of Wipro Consumer Care has picked up additional stake in LetsShave by investing an undisclosed amount in the unisex grooming startup. “LetsShave has shown promising growth and has been able to expand its consumer base,” says Sumit Keshan, managing partner at Wipro Consumer Care. “We are happy to do a follow-on funding,” he adds, declining to disclose the amount invested or the total stake picked up in the Chandigarh-based startup, which operates in a large market for razors, blades and trimmers. The venture arm has backed a bunch of startups including Ustraa, OneLife, Soulflower, Power Gummies, and in February this year, it reportedly made 10x returns from a partial exit in beauty and personal care startup The Good Glamm Group.  

Backed by Korean razor giant Dorco, which bought a minor stake in LetsShave in 2018, subscription-based LetsShave has so far raised $6 million since its inception. Wipro and Dorco together hold around 25 percent in the startup, according to industry sources declining to be named. “In the new round, Wipro has invested around Rs 20 crore,” they point out. While declining to share the investment details, Sidharth Oberoi, founder of LetsShave, stressed that the startup will use the funds to expand its online business in the country, explore offline channels, and foray into foreign markets. "We expect to touch Rs 50 crore in revenue over the next few years," says Oberoi, claiming that LetsShave sells between 2,500 and 3,500 products per day.

Started in 2016, LetsShave has picked up pace over the last two fiscals. From an operating revenue of Rs 8.5 crore in FY21, the numbers jumped to Rs 19.8 crore in FY22, according to the regulatory filings. For FY23, the operating revenue was close to Rs 25 crore, while losses have come down to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 6.6 crore in FY22, according to sources citing unaudited numbers. “What defined our growth last year was our efforts to bring down losses and move towards profitability,” says Oberoi.

Also read: How Bombay Shaving Company found its core in the middle of the pandemic

The men’s grooming market has seen intense action over the last few years. FMCG major Emami, which invested in The Man Company in 2017, has increased its stake to 50.4 percent. In its latest earnings call, Emami pointed out that The Man Company grew around 40 percent in FY23, and the management is bullish on the prospects for FY24. It further added that a slew of new launches, investment in men’s grooming and focus on ecommerce will make The Man Company business profitable from the next year.

Another startup in the grooming space—Bombay Shaving Company—too has grown at a fast clip. Started by Shantanu Deshpande in June 2016, its operating revenue has jumped from Rs 17.6 crore to Rs 110 crore in FY22. Backed by Reckitt Benckiser, Colgate Palmolive and a bunch of other investors, Bombay Shaving Company has raised around Rs 350 crore so far, and had its funding round of Rs 210 crore in December 2021. Diversifying its user base, the company rolled out Bombae, a women's hair removal and personal care brand, in the third quarter of 2020. The new division makes up 25 percent of the overall revenue, and is expected to touch the Rs 100-crore mark by June 2023.

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