Back News / Stayfree, Whisper challenger brand Paree ropes in foreign investor
Stayfree, Whisper challenger brand Paree ropes in foreign investorDecember 9, 2019
Paree sanitary napkin maker Soothe Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which was previously backed by Fogg deodorant promoter Darshan Patel, has raised a fresh round of funding from a prominent foreign investor, two people privy to the development told VCCircle.
The Delhi-NCR-based firm has raised an undisclosed amount from Symphony International Holdings Ltd, the people said, with one of them adding that the London Stock Exchange-listed investor typically ploughs around $40 million (Rs 284 crore at current exchange rate) into each company.
Both said that Symphony has picked up a significant minority stake in the company, which previously counted Vini Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd promoter Darshan Patel as one of its investors. Vini Cosmetics is best known for its Fogg deodorant.
In June 2016, Sixth Sense Ventures, a consumer sector-centric venture investment firm, had invested in Soothe.
Symphony has picked up a stake of around 25% in Soothe while Sixth Sense holds almost 35%, one of the persons said. The company’s founder own the remaining stake.
Email queries to Soothe and Symphony didn’t get any response till the time of publishing this report.
Symphony is a London Stock Exchange-listed firm that invests across a wide variety of businesses in the healthcare, hospitality, and lifestyle sectors, including branded real estate development, which are principally in Asia.
Symphony, led by Anil Thadani, mainly focuses on transactions that involve growth capital for later-stage development and expansion, management buy-outs/buy-ins, restructurings and special situations. It also recently backed a new VC firm Good Capital.
In September this year, it joined hands with UAE-based family investment office Foundation Holdings to invest in hospital chain ASG Hospital Pvt. Ltd. It also recently backed technology-focussed investment firm Good Capital Partners, floated by seed stage incubator Investopad co-founders.
Soothe was launched in mid-2012 by Sahil Dharia, who had earlier worked as global head of operations, investment research content at Thomson Reuters, where he spent nine years in various roles. Prior to that, he worked on the buy-side at UBS Investment Bank in New York.
Paree is positioned in the value segment of the market where the likes of Whisper and Stayfree have a majority share. It is available in pharmacies, retail outlets, modern trade and e-commerce sites across India.
Soothe, which claims to be India’s first chemical-free sanitary napkin manufacturer, also has distribution tie-ups with fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and retail majors such as ITC and Walmart.
Startups working in the health, wellness and hygiene segment have been attracting funding from investors over the past few years.
In October this year, wellness brand Pee Safe raised Rs 30 crore ($4.2 million) in its Series A funding round led by Alkemi Growth Capital.
In July, Sirona, a startup that sells women-focused hygiene products such as urination device PeeBuddy, raised an undisclosed sum of money from the Indian Angel Network in a follow-on funding round.
Prior to this, Azah Personal Care and Nua also attracted investor interest this year.
In August last year, Carmesi, a premium natural and biodegradable sanitary pad brand, raised $500,000 in its pre-Series A round of funding from a clutch of individual investors.
The following month, VCCircle reported that hygiene products maker Wetex raised funding from a venture capital firm.