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Soothe Healthcare eyes Rs 500 crore revenue in 3 years
| January 24, 2021
Soothe Healthcare eyes Rs 500 crore revenue in 3 years
Homegrown personal hygiene products maker Soothe Healthcare, whose brands are Paree sanitary pads and Super Cute diapers, is looking at a revenue of Rs 500 crore in three years, as it expands product portfolio and builds distribution presence across the country. "We manufacture, distribute and market personal hygiene products. We believe there is a tremendous (growth) opportunity as income rises and awareness increases. Paree sanitary pads is already a Rs 100-crore brand. With Super Cute, we are looking to add another Rs 50 crore," Soothe Healthcare Chief Executive Officer and founder Sahil Dharia told PTI. Dharia said the company expects the sanitary napkins market to have tailwinds on the back of government initiatives and growing awareness in the coming years. "So, we believe we will be a Rs 500 crore company in three years... We are now an FMCG company that is looking beyond sanitary napkins. We are also in baby diapers now. We plan to get into the adult diapers space and launch products next year. One product at a time," he added. Soothe Healthcare launched its diaper brand Super Cute amid the COVID-19 pandemic in October 2020. When asked what was the rationale of launching a new product during a pandemic, Dharia said: "It was a calculated risk... We understand absorbent products well; we have assets in distribution... We have launched innovative products in the diaper space. In a very short time, Super Cute will be a Rs 50 crore brand. It is already a Rs 40 crore brand." Elaborating on distribution for its products, Dharia said, "We are focussed on non-metros (cities) at the moment. For Super Cute, we are in the top-20 cities right now, and we will be in the top-30 cities in the coming months. We plan to increase distribution to pan India by the second half of this calendar year". "We already have a good handle on distribution in North and Central India..now we are looking at expanding in South India in the second half of this calendar year," he added. Soothe Healthcare has two manufacturing plants in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, and its products are present in 1,50,00 outlets across India. Dharia started the company in 2013 with a seed capital of Rs 8 crore. Over the years, Soothe Healthcare has raised several rounds of funding and invested by foreign institutional and domestic investors such as London listed private equity fund, Symphony Asia Holdings Pvt. Ltd. and Mumbai-based consumer fund, Sixth Sense Ventures. Sixth Sense has already invested thrice in the last three years, and Symphony invested twice. When asked how much money the company has raised so far, he said: "We have raised several hundred crore. We are well capitlised. For our capital expansion, we continue to raise debt."
Stayfree, Whisper challenger brand Paree ropes in foreign investor
| December 9, 2019
Paree sanitary napkin maker Soothe Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which was previously backed by Fogg deodorant promoter Darshan Patel, has raised a fresh round of funding from a prominent foreign investor, two people privy to the development told VCCircle. The Delhi-NCR-based firm has raised an undisclosed amount from Symphony International Holdings Ltd, the people said, with one of them adding that the London Stock Exchange-listed investor typically ploughs around $40 million (Rs 284 crore at current exchange rate) into each company. Both said that Symphony has picked up a significant minority stake in the company, which previously counted Vini Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd promoter Darshan Patel as one of its investors. Vini Cosmetics is best known for its Fogg deodorant. In June 2016, Sixth Sense Ventures, a consumer sector-centric venture investment firm, had invested in Soothe. Symphony has picked up a stake of around 25% in Soothe while Sixth Sense holds almost 35%, one of the persons said. The company's founder own the remaining stake. Email queries to Soothe and Symphony didn’t get any response till the time of publishing this report. Symphony is a London Stock Exchange-listed firm that invests across a wide variety of businesses in the healthcare, hospitality, and lifestyle sectors, including branded real estate development, which are principally in Asia. Symphony, led by Anil Thadani, mainly focuses on transactions that involve growth capital for later-stage development and expansion, management buy-outs/buy-ins, restructurings and special situations. It also recently backed a new VC firm Good Capital. In September this year, it joined hands with UAE-based family investment office Foundation Holdings to invest in hospital chain ASG Hospital Pvt. Ltd. It also recently backed technology-focussed investment firm Good Capital Partners, floated by seed stage incubator Investopad co-founders. Soothe was launched in mid-2012 by Sahil Dharia, who had earlier worked as global head of operations, investment research content at Thomson Reuters, where he spent nine years in various roles. Prior to that, he worked on the buy-side at UBS Investment Bank in New York. Paree is positioned in the value segment of the market where the likes of Whisper and Stayfree have a majority share. It is available in pharmacies, retail outlets, modern trade and e-commerce sites across India. Soothe, which claims to be India’s first chemical-free sanitary napkin manufacturer, also has distribution tie-ups with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail majors such as ITC and Walmart. Peers Startups working in the health, wellness and hygiene segment have been attracting funding from investors over the past few years. In October this year, wellness brand Pee Safe raised Rs 30 crore ($4.2 million) in its Series A funding round led by Alkemi Growth Capital. In July, Sirona, a startup that sells women-focused hygiene products such as urination device PeeBuddy, raised an undisclosed sum of money from the Indian Angel Network in a follow-on funding round. Prior to this, Azah Personal Care and Nua also attracted investor interest this year. In August last year, Carmesi, a premium natural and biodegradable sanitary pad brand, raised $500,000 in its pre-Series A round of funding from a clutch of individual investors. The following month, VCCircle reported that hygiene products maker Wetex raised funding from a venture capital firm.
Exclusive: Sixth Sense Ventures backs maker of sanitary napkin Paree
| June 27, 2016
Sixth Sense Ventures, a consumer sector-centric venture investment firm, has invested in Noida-based Soothe Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, the firm behind Paree brand of sanitary napkins, a person privy to the development told VCCircle. This marks the first new deal by the VC firm as it completed the fundraising process for its debut investment vehicle early this month. When contacted, Sahil Dharia, founder of the firm, confirmed the development but declined to share the investment amount. The venture capital firm typically invests up to Rs 10 crore picking small minority stake in its portfolio firms. The VC firm is betting on a market with huge growth opportunity. According a research report on market leader P&G, the firm behind Whisper, by brokerage firm HDFC Securities, “Feminine hygiene is among the most under-penetrated segments in the FMCG space.” It cited an old finding of market research firm AC Nielsen that shows that feminine hygiene market penetration was in fact at 11%. “Earlier, product affordability was an issue, now the price per pad has come down sharply over the past few years. Despite strong volume growth in the past few years, we believe the penetration is currently only around 16%. This level is much lower compared to even other emerging markets like China and Thailand (~50%- 60%), Indonesia (over 80%), Kenya (~30%), and equal to Uganda and Tanzania (~16% each). In case of developed countries like the US, the UK and Germany, the penetration level is ~90%-95%,” it noted. Paree, positioned in the value segment of the market dominated by the likes of Whisper, Stayfree, She and Kotex, is currently available in more than 3,000 pharmacies and retail outlets besides e-commerce sites. The company, which claims itself to be India’s first chemical-free sanitary napkin manufacturer, also has distribution tie-ups with major FMCG and retail majors such as ITC and Walmart. Last year, the personal hygiene firm chose Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal as its brand ambassador. She has also invested in the company, though it is not clear if the investment is partly in lieu of fee for being the brand's face. In the past, Soothe Healthcare also attracted seed funding by John Cioffi, managing director of wealth management at UBS. The firm was launched four years ago by Sahil Dharia. Dharia had earlier worked as global head of operations, investment research content at Thomson Reuters, where he spent nine years in various roles. Prior to that, he worked on the buy-side at UBS Investment Bank in New York. SSV’s debut fund For the VC firm this is the eighth firm it has backed since it started investing in December 2014 when it backed luxury watch retailer Ethos and put money in Cross Roads India Assistance Pvt. Ltd, a roadside assistance provider for cars and two wheelers. The investment firm floated by Nikhil Vora, former managing director of IDFC Securities and its co-head of research, has also invested in in Weddingz.in, an online marketplace for wedding venues and vendors and oral care products company in JHS Svendgaard Laboratories Pvt Ltd, early this year. Last August, it joined several others to co-invest in media group NDTV's e-commerce venture Gadgets 360 and auto portal. And in November, it backed Grab, a Mumbai-based hyperlocal logistics service provider. The VC firm made the final close of its debut fund last week raising Rs 125 crore ($18.5 million), after resizing the target corpus. It is planning to invest in a dozen odd companies from this fund, all in the range of Rs 10 crore odd, Vora has earlier told VCCircle. Vora is independently also a private investor in several firms including One97 Communications, the firm behind mobile wallet and e-commerce firm Paytm; Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd, which runs Kangaroo Kids Preschool and Billabong High International School; Vini Cosmetics, a consumer goods company which raised funding from Sequoia Capital; sports-focused digital display solutions firm Technology Frontiers, backed by Avigo Capital; Purplle.com backed by IVY Cap; Infinite Analytics backed by Ratan Tata amongst others.