Founded in 2016 by husband-wife duo Varun and Ghazal Alagh, MamaEarth is Asia’s first Made-safe certified brand that offers 100% toxin-free & natural skincare, hair care & baby care products. The company is building a new range of direct to consumer brands that use the internet-first approach to reach the target audience.
According to Varun Alagh, Founder and CEO of Mamaearth, “We have a long way to go at Honasa (Mamaearth’s parent company). Our vision is to create the FMCG conglomerate of the future by building brands that connect strongly with millennials and Gen Z customers using the combined power of digital marketing and e-Commerce at large scale. Sequoia India’s investment at this stage of our journey validates this vision of building a global brand of the future.”
Across India, millennial consumers are becoming increasingly conscious and are looking for safe natural alternatives to replace the existing cosmetic products being offered by large multinationals. This strong demand has been reflected in Mamaearth’s meteoric growth. Today, their range includes 80+ natural, toxin-free products, with a whopping 1.5 million+ consumers in over 500 cities across India.
Speaking on the investment, Ishaan Mittal, Principal, Sequoia Capital India LLP says, “Out of India’s $15B+ personal care market, online channels contribute to only 3-5%. With 15-20% of Indian shoppers influenced digitally and expected to double in next 7-8 years, digital first brands have the potential to redefine the architecture of tomorrow’s FMCG companies. Varun’s vision is to ride these market tailwinds to create a multi-brand, cross geo FMCG company over the next decade. The team at Sequoia India is excited about being partners in this phenomenal journey.”
MamaEarth is driven by innovation and uses the best of science and ayurveda to stand out in the personal care space. The brand combines in-depth research and customer feedback to create best-in-class products for the young, aspirational and increasingly conscious Indian consumer.
“From day one we have ensured we listen to our consumers and provided products which they were looking for. This led us to develop & launch over 80 products in under three years. Last year, for instance, our we noticed that our consumers were using onion juice as the ultimate household remedy for hair loss. That's when we launched our onion range of hair care products and saw phenomenal results. This has now become a part of our DNA & in the coming years we will continue to launch new products, enter new categories & use the right ingredients based on our listening tools”, says co-founder, Ghazal Alagh, who is also Chief Mama for the Brand.
The current round of INR 130 crores raised by Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd parent company of Mamaearth is the biggest round size for any internet-first consumer company in India. The round has also been particularly noteworthy because it's seen as a phenomenal exit for seed investors. Some early angels have exited the company in this round with a return of over 20X on their initial investment. For a D2C FMCG brand, such an exit is almost unprecedented.
Continuing on the previous round of investment, Kannan Sitaram of Fireside Ventures said“As first institutional investors in Mamaearth, this round has strengthened our philosophy of backing the right founders who are looking to build the next generation of great Indian brands. We believe the journey has just begun and the team will take the company to new heights”
The company plans to use the freshly acquired funds over the next 3 years to continue its exponential growth — building it into a 500 crore brand by acquiring 5 million new consumers. The funds will also be used to launch more brands under the Honasa umbrella— all of which will be internet-first and focused on the needs of the new-age, millennial consumers. Apart from this, the company plans to utilize the funds to hire best-in-class talent as the organization scales rapidly. There are also plans to expand into key markets in Southeast Asia, where the presence of a similar millennial audience lends it strong market potential.
Rahul Chowdhri of Stellaris Venture Partners says, “We invested early in Mamaearth on back of consumer trend of a healthy lifestyle and stellar founders. It is encouraging to see the way consumers have loved the goodness of this brand. We look forward to being part of Varun & Ghazal’s journey of building a long-lasting business.”
About MamaEarth & Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd
Founded by husband and wife duo Varun Alagh and Ghazal Alagh, MamaEarth is Asia’s first Madesafe certified brand that offers 100% toxin-free & natural baby care, skincare, and hair care products. MamaEarth is part of Internet-first brands company Honasa Consumer Pvt Limited, that is creating the FMCG conglomerate of the future. Honasa caters to the needs of millennial consumers through innovative products, evolved propositions, digital marketing channels, and e-commerce fulfillment. Their goal is to build a global billion-dollar FMCG conglomerate in the next 5 years — spread across the globe but connected through digital centres of excellence. MamaEarth is a brand driven by innovation and uses the best of science and Ayurveda to meet all personal care needs of young, aspirational and increasingly conscious Indian consumers. It also brings a spirit of constant innovation and in-depth research and customer feedback into every single product.
In the short span of 3 years, MamaEarth has launched a range of 80+ natural products, has reached over 1.5 million customers in 500 Indian cities, and is the fastest-growing FMCG startups to hit 100 Cr run rate in India. Mamearth products are available across major eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Nykaa, Flipkart, etc and its own platform www.mamaearth.in. The brand is now expanding its footprint to offline channels, establishing a presence in over 2000 stores in the country.
About The Founders
Varun Alagh, Co-Founder, CEO, Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd
The idea of a 100% toxin-free baby products brand MamaEarth came to Varun and his partner & Co-Founder Ghazal when they became parents and had a difficult time finding chemical-free products for their son.
Varun Alagh comes with over 10+ years of leadership experience in sales and marketing roles with world-renowned FMCG brands. Varun started his career with Hindustan Unilever and has, twice been listed amongst the top managers in HUL. He then went on to become the Senior Brand Manager at Diageo. As a part of this assignment, Varun managed the ATL, BTL, Digital & Trade activations for Smirnoff across India. Varun has also completed a four-year stint with Coca-Cola as the Senior Brand Manager and has been instrumental in launching Coke Zero in India. During his corporate stint, he has won multiple recognitions including Business Unit Presidents Award, Above and Beyond Award and I am Diageo Award. Varun leverages his understanding of the FMCG market to develop, distribute and market MamaEarth's 100% toxin-free products.
He holds a Masters in Finance and Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur, and Bachelors in Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE),
Ghazal Alagh, Co-Founder, Chief Mama, Honasa Consumer Pvt Ltd
A corporate trainer turned artist-cum-entrepreneur Ghazal Alagh co-founded MamaEarth, driven by the passion for making early parenting stress-free. As the Co-Founder and Chief Mama at MamaEarth Ghazal is responsible for product development and community management. She works closely with a large number of consumers to develop product lines that address problems that they face on a daily basis.
Ghazal’s overarching vision is to make this world a better and safer place with toxin-free, MadeSafe-certified products for everyone. With a Bachelors in Information Technology and Intensive Courses in Modern Art, Design and Applied Arts from New York Academy of Arts, she started her career with NIIT as a Corporate Trainer. As a part of her role, she trained managers and engineers from various IT companies in SQL, J2ME, and Oracle. Ghazal has also been recognized amongst top 10 women artists in India, nationally and internationally. Having straddled three different roles —a corporate trainer, an artist, and a mother— Ghazal has a diverse skill set that helps her build the MamaEarth brand in such a unique way.