Beauty and skincare company VLCC is acquiring direct-to-consumer men’s grooming brand Ustraa through a combination of secondary buy-out and share swap, the company said on Friday . Post merger, VLCC will make further investments to accelerate the growth of Ustraa, a brand owned by Happily Unmarried Marketing, the company said in a press statement.
The acquisition marks VLCC’s foray into specialised men’s grooming and enhances new age digital commerce and product innovation capabilities for the platform, the company said.
Ustraa founder Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli will continue to spearhead the D2C brand’s growth and drive VLCC’s direct to consumer play. Ustraa’s existing Investors InfoEdge, 360 One (formerly IIFL Ventures) and Wipro will become shareholders in VLCC.
Vikas Gupta, chief executive of VLCC said: “This acquisition marks VLCC’s foray into men’s grooming market and our aim is to accelerate Ustraa’s growth journey by leveraging our pan-India offline distribution.” He added that VLCC’s existing product business will leverage Ustraa’s tech and digital background to scale up in new age commerce.
Founded in 2015 by Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, Ustraa sells fragrances, hair care, face and beard care products and had 2.2 million customers on its app, the statement said.
“VLCC’s management, supported by Carlyle globally, brings the resources which can enable us to significantly grow our brand further and expand the range of products,” Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, founders of Ustraa, said in a joint statement.
Trilegal and KPMG advised VLCC on the acquisition. EY acted as exclusive financial advisor to Happily Unmarried and its investors.
Sanjeev Bikhchandani of InfoEdge, which has invested in Zomato and Policybazaar, said synergies could be leveraged with the VLCC-Ustraa merger.
Late last year, global investment firm Carlyle announced a strategic partnership with VLCC through the acquisition of majority stake in the company. Carlyle’s global private equity funds have previously invested in consumer and retail brands such as Beautycounter, Every Man Jack, and Delhivery, among others. VLCC, founded by Vandana and Mukesh Luthra, sells skincare, beauty and wellness products, besides wellness and beauty management services.