Beauty and personal care brand, Pilgrim, raises $20 million led by Vertex Ventures

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While India’s beauty and personal care industry keeps flourishing, there are still customers who spend thousands on international brands that offer distinctive ingredients. In 2019, a duo from IIT-Bombay noticed this exact pattern with their relatives; who were hoarding international brands after bringing them back from overseas trips. They wanted to provide these highly sought-after ingredients to Indians in their home country. With this intention, they launched the beauty and personal care brand Pilgrim. Recently, the company announced that it had raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. The round also saw participation from existing investors Fireside Ventures and Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office.

A woman sitting with two products offered by Pilgrim.

“Our commitment to sourcing world-class beauty ingredients and addressing consumer requirements remains unwavering, bolstered by the invaluable support of our esteemed partners, Vertex Ventures, Fireside Ventures, and the Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office. Their faith in our business fundamentals fuels our ambition to emerge as frontrunners in India’s expansive beauty and personal care sectors,” said Anurag Kedia and Gagandeep Makker, co-founders of Pilgrim.

The fast-growing brand will delegate the fresh funds towards expanding its brand equity, developing its research and development department, and working on offline expansion in India. With 5 lakh customers gained every month, the digital-first brand is working to set up an omni-channel approach. Presently, 8 percent of the sales come from offline channels, the rest from marketplaces and their own websites. The brand’s annual recurring revenue (ARR) stands at Rs. 300 crore, and it is aiming to scale to Rs. 1,000 crore by 2025.

“We believe Pilgrim is at the new frontier of India’s beauty and personal care industry, and we look forward to working with the team to create a truly aspirational and global brand,” said Kanika Mayar, partner at Vertex Ventures SEA & India.

About Pilgrim

Pilgrim was established in 2019 by IIT-Bombay alumni Anurag Kedia and Gagandeep Makker. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty and personal care brand sets itself apart from its competition through products that are curated with authentic ingredients sourced from France, Korea, Spain, Australia, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Swiss Alps.

Pilgrim's 100% Safe, Cruelty-free, and Vegan products.

The brand offers skin-friendly, vegan, and paraben-free, mineral oil-free, and sulphate-free products at affordable prices. The company has over 90 stock-keeping units (SKUs) across face care, haircare, skincare products, and fragrances serving over 25,000 pin codes. It enables access to high-quality products for its Indian customers through its strong product formulations and unique international ranges.

“Over a period of 12 months, we normally see 40 to 50 percent of our consumers come back and buy from us multiple times. At present, we’re selling 850,000 units per month,” claims co-founder Anurag Kedia.

Presently, India’s beauty and personal care industry accounts for 5% of the global market. According to a report by Redseer Strategy Consultants, it is projected to reach $30 billion by 2027. While the market in India has not sufficiently penetrated in comparison with the US or China, brands like Pilgrim continue to enhance India’s presence in the global beauty and personal care industry.

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