Beauty Giant VLCC Expands its Empire with Acquisition of Men’s Grooming Startup Ustraa

Leading beauty and skincare brand VLCC has made a strategic move by acquiring Happily Unmarried Marketing Private Ltd, the parent company of popular men’s grooming brand Ustraa. The acquisition, carried out through a combination of secondary buy-out and share swap, allows VLCC to enter the rapidly growing men’s grooming segment. Moreover, VLCC’s existing product business stands to benefit from Ustraa’s technological and digital expertise, enabling them to scale up in the realm of new-age commerce.

Ustraa, founded in 2015 by Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, is a direct-to-consumer (D2C) men’s grooming startup offering a wide range of products including fragrances, hair care, and face and beard care. The startup takes pride in its in-house lab where its products are formulated, ensuring they are completely free of harmful chemicals such as SLS and parabens. In a strategic funding round led by Info Edge’s subsidiary Startup Investments in September 2022, Ustraa successfully raised approximately $2.1 million (Rs 16.8 crore).

Expressing their thoughts on the acquisition, Ustraa’s founders, Rahul Anand and Rajat Tuli, stated, “VLCC represents a perfect strategic partner to help us broaden our customer reach, especially in offline retail. VLCC’s strong management, supported by Carlyle globally, brings the resources and sector expertise that can enable us to significantly grow our brand further and expand the range of products. We believe our combined expertise in brand building, sales and marketing, and distribution will create faster growth for both brands, and we are excited to embark on this journey as part of the VLCC family.”

Founded by Vandana Luthra and Mukesh Luthra, VLCC initially started as a beauty and weight management services center in 1989. Over the years, it has expanded its presence in the skincare, beauty, and wellness industry in India. Currently, VLCC Group operates in 310 locations across 139 cities and 11 countries. Following the acquisition, VLCC plans to make additional investments to accelerate the growth of Ustraa.

Vikas Gupta, CEO of VLCC, commented on the development, saying, “This acquisition marks VLCC’s foray into the men’s grooming market, and our aim is to accelerate Ustraa’s growth journey by leveraging VLCC’s pan-India offline distribution. Simultaneously, VLCC’s existing product business will benefit from Ustraa’s technological and digital expertise to scale up in the new-age commerce landscape.”