D2C Lifestyle Brand Zouk Raises $1.5 Mn In Pre-Series A Round
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Homegrown PeTA-approved vegan lifestyle brand Zouk, on Wednesday announced that it has raised $1.5 million in pre-Series A 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 aid Zouk in expanding its presence in India and new global markets, strengthening its supply chain and distribution channels, and extending its product line. Zouk raised its seed capital earlier this year from Titan Capital, founders of Beardo and Mamaearth.
“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 behavior. 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. We are excited to partner with Disha and Pradeep in their journey towards building Zouk as one of the leading D2C lifestyle brands from India. Zouk’s phenomenal growth has been fueled by the rise in conscious consumerism and moreover, purpose-led brand love has paved the way for building a special resonance with style enthusiasts, offering a unique business opportunity into a fairly niche segment such as vegan fashion,” said Rahul Chowdhri, partner, Stellaris Venture Partners.
Zouk offers products that personify the essence of Indian design, while being extremely functional. Its 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.
“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. His vast experience of guiding multiple companies from their early stages to massive size and lucrative exits will be a big plus for us. Our first milestone is to scale Zouk to a 100 crore brand in the next couple of years. We then want to chart the path to hitting 1000 crore in the next few years,” shared Disha Singh, co-founder and chief executive officer, Zouk.
“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 truly believe that this is a rocketship that will massively scale up to hit 100s of crores of Net Annual revenues in this decade. Impossible to stop fantastic Disha and Pradeep," commented Bipin Shah, partner, Titan Capital.
“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,” added Manish Chowdhary, co-founder, Wow Skin Science.
Having gained over 50,000 customers with a fourfold growth in the last seven months, Zouk aims to double its consumer base every six months for the next 5 years. The pre-series A round will be utilized by the company to take the rich Indian heritage in a modern avatar to the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East in addition to expanding its team in India. Furthermore, Zouk is looking at extending the range to offer contemporary products, thereby building the category, and encouraging market acceptance of living a cruelty-free lifestyle.