Home / News / India /  Reckitt Benckiser leads funding round in grooming brand Bombay Shaving Co

Consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser (RB) has led a 45 crore funding round in Visage Lines Personal Care Pvt. Ltd, which owns the grooming brand Bombay Shaving Co (BSC).

Individual investors such as Rajesh Sud, managing director (MD), Bharti Enterprises, Anjali Bansal, founder, Avaana Capital, and Kuldeep Jain, MD, Cleanmax Energy Enviro Energy Solutions also participated in the round. Arjun Purkayastha, RB’s senior vice-president, e-commerce, digital and ventures, will join the Visage Lines board.

The British company, which owns the Dettol and Lysol brands, is the second large firm to back the five-year-old startup after Colgate-Palmolive Asia Pacific Ltd in 2018.

BSC, known primarily as a men’s grooming firm, with products in shaving, bath and body, skin and beard care, launched women’s products last year.

“RB is a home and hygiene giant globally and is well-entrenched in the Indian consumer space. We have always tried to find long-term, patient investors and RB has an excellent record in building health and wellness brands over their 200-year heritage. They enter niche spaces and turn them into big categories. We have earlier seen great value with our association Colgate-Palmolive as well," Shantanu Deshpande, founder and chief executive officer of Visage Lines, said Shantanu Deshpande, founder and chief executive officer of Visage LinesThe investment will help the firm scale its operations and also provide access to RB’s global scale, expertise, and mentorship. The aim is to build BSC into a household company and launch more brands in the personal care space, Deshpande said.

“Our investment represents a commitment to bring the best of two worlds together, BSC’s expertise in digital-first brands with strong e-commerce capabilities and RB’s expertise in branding, manufacturing, and global scale," Purkayastha said.

BSC plans to scale its operations, target a revenue of 150 crore in the next fiscal, and expand its offline retail distribution as footfalls ramp up, it said. The company is also steadily building omni-channel revenue streams and wants to increase its presence from 10,000 stores in 20 cities to 50,000 stores by the end of the year. “If we want to grow into a larger brand, we have to go offline," Deshpande said. “Large mass-market brands globally have been buying out small, niche firms. In India, too, large consumer brands are feeling challenged with direct-to-consumer brands eating into their share, with specific consumer target brands," said Harminder Sahni, MD of consultancy Wazir Advisors.

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