Colgate-Palmolive buys 14% stake in Bombay Shaving Company

BENGALURU: Colgate-Palmolive Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of the global consumer behemoth, made its debut in the Indian consumer brand space with an investment in men’s grooming firm Bombay Shaving Company.The primary investment is pegged at about Rs 18 crore ($2.6 million), with the Hong Kong arm of the global consumer company leading the round and picking up a 14% stake in Bombay Shaving Company, according to documents filed with the Registrar of Companies and accessed from data research platform Tofler. Existing investor Fireside Ventures also participated, the documents showed. Bombay Shaving Company confirmed the investment, but declined to comment on the financial specifics.“Building a consumer brand in India needs time, capital and longterm vision. After having proven product market fit with promising repeat rates and product response, we are now looking to scale the brand,” said Shantanu Deshpande, CEO at Bombay Shaving Company. “Colgate-Palmolive will help us with product development, scaling our distribution and building the brand.”Founded in 2016, Bombay Shaving Company works on a subscription-based model and supplies men’s grooming products modelled on the USbased startup Dollar Shave Club, which was acquired by Unilever for about $1billion in 2016. The company started with about six products in 2016 and has expanded to 32 products across shaving, bath and body, skin and beard care. Its offline channel, with a presence in over 700 retail touch points in four cities, contributes about 20% of the business. The company is looking to add another six cities in the coming year.The startup makes men’s grooming products including razors, blades, facial scrubs, shaving cream, postshave balms, shaving brushes, towels and travel kits. The portfolio has expanded to include shower gels and disposable razors. This useand-throw razor will compete with market leader Gillette in the affordable segment, Deshpande said. Bombay Shaving Company claims to have clocked an annualised revenue of about Rs 16 crore in the quarter ended June.

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