Ustraa, a men's grooming startup, which was acquired by Carlyle-owned VLCC, a wellness and beauty company, at a 40% discount from its previous valuation, has reported a 47% increase in revenue from operations to Rs 97 crore in FY23.
Earlier in June this year, VLCC acquired Ustraa for about Rs 250 crore, a significant drop from its Rs 400 crore valuation in August 2022.
Despite the strong revenue growth, The startup's losses widened, with a 43% increase to Rs 40 crore compared to Rs 28 crore in FY22.
The primary revenue source for Ustraa comes from the sale of grooming products, with a significant 67% of sales generated online.
Founded in 2015 by Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, Ustraa was one of India's first D2C brands focused on men's grooming.
Ustraa's overall expenditure surged by 45.3% to Rs 138 crore in FY23, up from Rs 95 crore in FY22. This increase was fueled by costs related to materials, employee benefits, commissions, freight, and other operating overheads.
Advertising and promotion expenses alone constituted 25% of the total expenditure, growing 30% to Rs 35 crore.
Anand, co-founder of Happily Unmarried, expects growth and, along with Rajat Tuli, foresees profits from VLCC's potential public listing within 2-3 years.
Carlyle's acquisition of VLCC, with plans to merge it with Ustraa, sets the stage for a future IPO. The deal, valued at $250-$300 million, signals a strategic push to revive VLCC's initial public offering, which was put on hold after its draft prospectus filing in August 2021.
The men's grooming industry in India, where Ustraa operates, is undergoing significant changes and showing promising growth.
Tge sector is evolving with the introduction of new technologies and trends, as seen in startups like Beardo, also showcasing their latest products and innovations.