Vertex Ventures leads Series B funding in beauty brand Pilgrim

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Vertex Ventures leads Series B funding in beauty brand Pilgrim

Pilgrim offers face care, haircare and skincare products, and fragrances | Credit: Pilgrim/Facebook

Beauty and personal care brand Pilgrim has secured $20 million (Rs 166.2 crore) in a Series B funding round that involved a mix of equity and debt capital.  

The equity investment in the round was $13 million while the debt component was $7 million, Pilgrim said. 

The round was led by Temasek-backed venture capital firm Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Existing investors Fireside Ventures and Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office also doubled down on their bet.  

The Mumbai-based direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup plans to deploy the fresh capital in brand building, research and development, and expanding its offline presence in India.  

Founded in 2019 by Anurag Kedia and Gagandeep Makker, Pilgrim offers face care, haircare and skincare products, and fragrances. It offers 90 stock-keeping units (SKUs) across segments and its products are available on its website as well as e-commerce players like Amazon, Nykaa, and Purplle. At present, the company has 150 employees. 

The startup has cumulatively raised Rs 48 crore prior to the Series B round. In 2021, it managed to secure Rs 13 crore in a Series A round led by Fireside Ventures along with angel investors such as the founding teams from BoAt, NoBroker, and the founder-chief executive officer of   

“Pilgrim, with its product formulations and international ranges, is enabling access to quality and effective products for Indian customers right at their doorstep,” added Kanika Mayar, partner, Vertex Ventures SEA and India.  

Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India is part of Vertex Holdings’ network of global funds. Vertex Holdings, one of the biggest Southeast Asian-based VC investors, has $5 billion in assets under management across its funds and has about 200 active portfolio companies.   

The VC firm has made about 80 investments in early-growth stage startups in Southeast Asia and India. Its India portfolio includes online meat delivery unicorn Licious, audio content platform KukuFM, digital lending platform Kissht, D2C retail platform Ace Turtle, ayurveda-based D2C brand Kapiva, online retailer for used two-wheelers BeepKart, third-party management platform Certa, digital banking infrastructure provider Signzy, and hospital chain Ayu Health.  

A few weeks ago, Vertex Ventures marked the final close of its fifth India and Southeast Asia-focused fund at $541 million (Rs 4,488 crore), exceeding the target fund size of $450 million.   

In the beauty and personal care segment, e-commerce major Amazon’s SME-focussed fund is in discussions to pick up a minority stake in Naturohabit Pvt. Ltd-operated brand Nat Habit, VCCircle reported in August. 

In June last year, skincare and wellness brand Wow Skin Science raised Rs 375 crore ($48 million then) from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. 

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