FMCG major Marico has acquired an additional 55 per cent stake in Beardo, a men’s grooming brand that sells beard oils, beard waxes, soaps, and other products for men’s facial hair.

Marico had acquired 45 per cent stake in the company in 2017. Beardo was founded in Ahmedabad in 2015 by Ashutosh Valani and Priyank Shah. While the deal size was not disclosed, the turnover of Beardo has increased to ₹78.49 crore in FY19-20 from ₹22.66 crore in FY 2017-18.

Start-ups like Beardo have been able to make in-roads in the still niche male grooming market in India. While these brands remain predominantly online first, they either sell through their own portals or are available across e-tailers such as Amazon, Flipkart and others.

The ₹3,600-crore male grooming market was growing at a double-digit CAGR, prior to the Covid-induced lockdown.

One of the things Marico is doing to stay on course is to invest in start-ups to learn about new business models.

“There is an untapped demand there which large players are unable to tap into because that requires high-velocity innovation. For example, for Beardo, their innovation cycle is at 60-90 days compared to 8-9 months for a traditional FMCG company. They are happy to put 5,000 pieces on an e-commerce site and check if it works or not,” Saugata Gupta, MD & CEO, Marico, had told BusinessLine in an interview in November 2019.