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Illustration: Rahul Awasthi

Stride Ventures has led a debt round of $2 million in Sugar Cosmetics. The venture debt fund said it has partnered with an Indian private bank for this deal.

This is Stride Ventures’ tenth investment from its maiden fund that was launched in 2019 with plans to invest in 25-30 startups for Stride Venture India Fund I. In the last few months, the fund has invested in startups like HomeLane – a home interior company, and robotics company Miko, among others.

With this investment, the fund has forayed into the lifestyle segment.

“In a fiercely competitive landscape, Sugar has managed to stand apart in a short span of time. Their branding, market strategy and offering of affordable premium products greatly appeal to the growing younger demographic,” Ishpreet Gandhi, founder and managing partner at Stride Ventures, said. “The brand has quickly become a household name in the lifestyle segment and we are excited to partner with them in their journey.

Sugar Cosmetics offers a range of make-up products suited for Indian skin tones.

Vineeta Singh, cofounder and CEO of Sugar Cosmetics, said, “Sugar plays in a high gross margin category which makes debt a fantastic choice for us. With superior product-market fit and long-term growth appetite, we are excited about working with Stride and their partner private bank and announce $2 million as the first tranche of the Series C funding that we hope to close later this year.”

The company plans to deploy these funds for working capital and inventory requirements and “fuel aggressive growth through the peak sales season as demand returns to pre-Covid peak levels”.

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According to market estimates, Sugar Cosmetics has raised Rs 93 crore in equity funding so far from institutional investors like RB Investments, India Quotient, and A91 Partners, at a valuation of Rs 700 crore.

Launched in 2015, the company clocked net revenues of Rs 105 crore in FY20 and claimed it has seen its revenue jump almost six times in the last two years. Besides its online presence, the brand said it is also available offline across 2,400 retail outlets in over 130 cities.





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