Bombay Shaving Company Secures Debt Funding to Fuel Growth Strategy

Bombay Shaving Company Founder Shantanu Deshpande
Preeti Bali / 10:45 am / April 3, 2024

Bombay Shaving Company, a prominent player in the D2C grooming and personal care market, has secured INR 24 Cr ($3 Mn) in debt funding from Alteria Capital, a venture debt fund. This fresh infusion of capital will empower the startup to navigate the next phase of its growth journey.

Investing in Brand Visibility and Market Expansion

Shantanu Deshpande, the founder and CEO of Bombay Shaving Company, expressed his optimism about the funding’s role in propelling their growth. He outlined plans to utilize the funds for strategic investments, particularly in bolstering brand awareness through targeted campaigns for their core power products. Deshpande highlighted the critical role brand salience will play in achieving their ambitious target of nearly 35% growth in FY25.

Building on Previous Success

This debt financing round comes over two years after Bombay Shaving Company’s successful Series C funding round, which garnered INR 160 Cr. The previous round attracted investments from prominent players including hedge fund Malabar Investments, Gulf Islamic Investments, and Singularity AMC. While exploring possibilities for a Series D equity funding round, Bombay Shaving Company is actively leveraging debt financing to fuel its current growth strategy.

From Humble Beginnings to Omnichannel Success

Founded in 2016 by Deshpande, Bombay Shaving Company embarked on its journey as a D2C brand catering specifically to men’s shaving and grooming needs. Over the years, the company has exhibited remarkable growth, expanding its product portfolio to encompass women’s grooming essentials and evolving into a successful omnichannel brand.

Reaching Customers Through Diverse Channels

Bombay Shaving Company’s commitment to accessibility extends to its distribution network. Their products are readily available on popular e-commerce platforms like Nykaa, Flipkart, and Amazon, in addition to a presence in over 40,000 physical stores across the country. The brand boasts a customer base spanning India, the US, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand.

Sharpening Razor Focus and Experimentation

Deshpande elaborated on the company’s plan to utilize the fresh capital to refine their go-to-market strategy for the razor category, currently their primary area of focus. Additionally, they intend to invest in product innovation and experiment with introducing a few new offerings to their existing product line.

Expanding Physical Presence and Brand Experience

Deshpande further outlined their expansion plans for the offline channel, aiming to increase their physical presence from 12 cities to 25. This signifies a strategic shift towards exploring and potentially scaling up their offline retail footprint.

Recognition for Disruption and Innovation

Ankit Agarwal, managing partner at Alteria Capital, acknowledged Bombay Shaving Company’s disruptive influence on the grooming and personal care landscape. He commended their innovative approach, including reformulating product ingredients, pioneering new sub-categories within the market, and adopting creative distribution channels. Agarwal emphasized how these efforts have positioned Bombay Shaving Company not only as a challenger brand but also as a leader in this dynamic market segment.

Investment from a Seasoned Venture Debt Fund

Alteria Capital’s investment in Bombay Shaving Company leverages capital from both their second and third venture debt funds. Notably, Alteria recently announced the final closing of their third fund at INR 1,550 Cr. This fund has already made strategic investments in various prominent startups, including Renee Cosmetics, One Card, and Ather Energy.

Financial Snapshot and Future Outlook

With this latest debt financing round, Bombay Shaving Company, led by Deshpande, has secured a cumulative funding of approximately $48 Mn. While the company’s FY23 financials are yet to be finalized, Deshpande reported a revenue of approximately INR 178 Cr for the fiscal year. Despite the revenue growth, Bombay Shaving Company also reported a negative EBITDA of 37% for FY23. This highlights the need for strategic financial planning and efficient resource allocation as they move forward.

In the competitive men’s grooming market, Bombay Shaving Company faces challenges from established players like The Man Company, Ustraa, and Beardo. The company’s ability to leverage its unique brand identity, innovative product offerings, and omnichannel presence will be crucial in securing a dominant position within this dynamic market space.

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