Sequoia Mints New Unicorn Startup In Indian Consumer Products Company Honasa

A shopper walks through an aisle displaying personal care goods at a Big Bazaar hypermarket in … [+] Mumbai, India.

Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Honasa Consumer, a consumer goods company based in Delhi, raised a $37 million Series F round led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, becoming the latest Indian startup to attain unicorn status.

The funding round values the startup at $1.07 billion, according to estimates by Indian news site VCCircle. Honasa previously raised $50 million in July led by Sequoia Capital and Belgium-based investment company Sofina Ventures, best known for its investments in Indian edtech billionaire Byju Raveendran\’s Byju’s and Indian craft beer brand Bira 91.

Honasa is the 45th startup in India to achieve unicorn status this year, according to Indian news outlet Mint. Earlier this week, GlobalBees, a nine-month-old startup based in New Delhi, also joined the unicorn club after raising about $110 million in Series B financing led by Premji Invest, the investment firm of Indian billionaire Azim Premji.

Honasa—whose name stands for honest, natural and safe—is best known for operating the baby and beauty care brand Mamaearth. Some of Mamaearth\’s best sellers include vitamin C and turmeric face wash, onion hair oil and tea tree shampoo. Their products are endorsed by notable Bollywood actresses such as Sara Ali Khan and Shilpa Shetty. 

The startup was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Varun and Ghazal Alagh in 2016. Varun is a consumer goods veteran, who worked at Coca-Cola, Diageo and Unilever, while Ghazal is a serial entrepreneur. Before Honasa, Ghazal founded Dietexpert, a startup customizing diet plans for clients.

Honasa Consumer also operates the Derma Co., another personal care startup catering to men and women. The Derma Co. sells its products on its own website as well as Amazon, Flipkart and Nykaa, an Indian e-commerce company founded by India’s second-richest self-made woman Falguni Nayar.