Zouk, a homegrown vegan lifestyle brand, today announced that it has raised Rs 11.75 crore ($1.5 million) in a pre-series A round led by Stellaris Venture Partners, along with participation by the founders of Wow Skin Science. Existing investors Titan Capital also participated in the round.
The fund infusion will help Zouk expand its presence in India and new global markets, strengthen its supply chain and distribution channels, and extend its product line. Zouk raised seed capital earlier this year from Titan Capital, founders of Beardo and Mamaearth.
The Zouk portfolio includes laptop bags, tote handbags, slings and chain wallets to name a few, made from 100 per cent vegan leather sourced and manufactured in India. Zouk’s mission is to build an iconic global consumer brand from India. Having gained 50,000-plus customers with a 4x growth in the past seven months, Zouk aims to double its consumer base every six months for the next 5 years.
The company will use the pre-series A fundind to take the rich Indian heritage in a modern avatar to the US, Canada, Europe, and West Asia in addition to expanding its team in India. Zouk is also looking at extending the range to offer contemporary products, thereby building the category and encouraging market acceptance of living a cruelty-free lifestyle.
Disha Singh, Co-founder and CEO, Zouk, said, “In Stellaris, we have found the right partner, who can guide us to become an iconic brand in the coming years. We are excited that Rahul Chowdhri, Partner at Stellaris, will join our board. Our first milestone is to scale Zouk to a Rs 100-crore brand in the next few years. We then want to chart the path to hitting Rs 1,000 crore.”
“The Indian D2C market is at its prime today; consumers have undergone a mindset shift in choosing to go online for their shopping needs and Covid-19 has further accelerated this behaviour. There’s never been a better time to build new-age consumer brands in and from India. E-commerce marketplaces and social media platforms provide a level-playing field for challenger brands like Zouk to compete with incumbent brands, and carve their own niche,” Rahul Chowdhri, Partner, Stellaris Venture Partners said.
Bipin Shah, Partner at Titan Capital said, “Zouk has received phenomenal customer love, which has fueled their consistent growth across online channels in the past few months. We are happy to double down on our investment in this round, as we believe that this is a rocketship that will massively scale up to hit hundreds of crores of net annual revenues in this decade. Impossible to stop fantastic Disha and Pradeep.”
This round also saw participation from the founders of Wow Skin Science, a hugely successful D2C international brand from India. Manish Chowdhary, co-Founder of Wow Skin Science said, “Zouk’s 100 per cent Vegan products, with a mix of style and function, have massive potential in global markets. The real kicker for me was that all their products have an essence of Indian handicraft and craftsmanship, which I believe will resonate well with consumers in the US, Canada and Europe.”