Crispy Biryani 🍚
Reliance's retail empire, D2C speed dating, crispy biryani & productive web surfing
Good morning! A big shout out to our readers who signed up last week.
Have you heard maximalism is in and minimalism is out? Clashing florals, colorful and innumerable knick-knacks, define the new taste of Gen Z', versus the Millennials who preach Minimalism. This craze is being termed as cluttercore. Psychological and cultural pundits may call it a pandemic effect, but brands focusing on Gen Z need to understand the real psyche behind this revolt!
What’s sizzling hot? 🔥
🛍️ Reliance is on a shopping spree
Reliance Retail is planning to open 400 stores to sell beauty & cosmetics products, in 2 formats: one similar to LVMH’s Sephora for the urban elite and the other for the aam junta. The company is also setting up an online platform, codenamed Tiara to build an omnichannel play. This will pit Reliance against fellow conglomerate Tata — who is also eyeing an entry into cosmetics, 23 years after exiting the business.
Why care? India’s BPC market is an $11 bn opportunity and by 2025 is set to touch $20 billion.
Also, while not exactly a D2C move, Reliance is further penetrating the consumer retail market by acquiring dozens of small grocery and non-food brands and hiring distributors to build a $6.5 bn business and challenge foreign giants like Unilever.
👀 Now you see me
The latest entrant into roll-up Lenkart’s subsidiary Neso has raised more than $100 mn in one of the largest seed funding rounds ever! Singapore-based Neso will invest in eyewear brands globally and grow them by levering resources across the Lenskart group including tech, supply chain, and distribution.
With e-commerce adoption skyrocketing, AR and AI maturing, the eyewear market is ripe for a tech-enabled global transformation.
Talkin’ of the eyewear market, pioneer in the field, Warby Parker is interestingly moving away from digital D2C and expanding its brick-and-mortar doors as more people return to shopping in person.
🩺 Call the doctor
Honasa Consumer, housing brands like Mamaearth, The Derma Co., Aqualogica, Ayuga, owner of hair color & salon brand BBlunt, and communities like Momspresso has added another skincare brand into its kitty - Dr. Sheth’s (being run by 3 generations).
Dr. Sheth’s creates products for the Indian demographic to address concerns like acne, pigmentation, dry skin, for different skin types.
Market Size & Competitors: $37.5 Bn by 2025; Nykaa, Good Glamm Group, Sugar
❤️ Speed dating in D2C
Smytten, a platform that aids you in breaking up with your go-to Unilever and PNG products, has raised $12.8 mn in a funding round led by Fireside Ventures and Roots Ventures. Consumers can buy samples off the Smytten app for free (only bearing the shipping cost) across skincare, food, fragrances, and wellness category. If customers like what they try, they can buy full-size products from Smytten’s marketplace.
Smytten also offers selling partners a range of services, including survey data and insights on new product development and communication strategy. Smytten has close to 10 mn consumers, of which 70% are females.
🍪 D2C Bites
WOW raises $48 mn to undertake inorganic investments and grow into a house of loved brands.
PS: WOW is the only Indian D2C brand that is available across more than 2,500 US Walmart stores and has featured in the bestsellers list on Amazon.com.
Brands that caught our eyes 👀
🥯 Harry mets bagel
Shaka Harry is adding a twist to your ready to cook Mutton Samosa, Mutton paratha, Chicken momos & burger patty, by making it Shakahaari! High in protein with zero cholesterol and trans fat, Shaka Harry is replicating the sensory experience that you love, in products that are better for you and for your planet.
🍙 Crispy Biryani
Get over the neolithic oil-filled Lays and Kurkure and try light and crunchy Pepitos that let your taste buds experience flavors of Hyderabadi biryani, instant Maggi noodles, Thai curry and italian pizza in chips form. Pepitos also offers interesting crisps like waffles and corn puffs.
Trend of the Week: Innerwear 👙
India’s lingerie market stood at around is projected to reach $6.5 Bn by 2023, on the back of the rising middle-class population and an increasing number of financially independent women.
PS: have you heard about Men’s underwear index?
Read & Recommendations 📖
The harsh reality of cost-cutting in the start-up ecosystem.
Web surfing can be more productive than you think!
That’s all for this week!
Stay tuned for more insights about the D2C ecosystem in India.
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