It was 2020. Darpan Sanghvi, founder of Mumbai-based beauty startup D2C MyGlamm, was trying his hand at the content-to-commerce model and found himself struggling with the content side of things.
In another part of the world, Priyanka Gill, founder and CEO of New Delhi-based POPxo and Plixxo, was attempting the same model and found herself facing a tough time with the business aspect.
Darpan struggled to acquire customers while Priyanka failed to understand how to monetize content from the large user base she had created.
“We had a brief flirtation with POPxo products back then. We didn’t know anything about the products. When Darpan saw a sheet of our products, he must have laughed because our MOQs were too low, our unit cost was too high and it made no sense,” Priyanka recalled.
The two entrepreneurs have come a long way since then.
In 2021, Darpan and Priyanka teamed up with Naiyya Saggi, founder and CEO of BabyChakra, to form the group Good Glamm. This new entity has three distinct functions – Good Brands led by Sukhleen Aneja, Good Media led by Priyanka and Good Creator led by Sachin Bhatia – and is betting big on the content-to-commerce model.
The startup is now considering international expansion and plans to go public. But more on that later.
Prior to this model, 90% of the startup’s traffic came from paid marketing channels and Good Glamm’s customer acquisition cost (CAQ) was $15-18. Today, his CAQ is down about 94% to just $1.
“Content platforms today generate 4-4.5 million organic impressions. These impressions are generated without spending money, simply by publishing great content. We are inserting our brands into 200 million of these impressions today Through this, we get traffic to our website and then we transact,” says Darpan.
FMCG claims that of the 200 million impressions it interacts with, seven million currently transact on its website. Over the next three years, Good Glamm hopes to increase that number to 35-40 million customers.
The startup grew from 600,000 customers in FY21 to four million customers in FY22. This fiscal year, it has already reached seven million customers. Group revenue grew 5x in FY22 and plans to grow 3x in FY23.
In August 2021, the group acquired parenting platform and community BabyChakra for Rs 100 crore (about $13.9 million), and Naiyya entered the fold as the group’s third co-founder.
The Good Glamm Group then completed its Series C fundraising with a further injection of Rs 255 crore ($34.6 million) led by equity investment from the Trifecta Leaders Fund and structured financing from Trifecta Capital and Stride Ventures .
The following September, the three co-founders announced the creation of parent company Good Glamm Group. The group then earmarked a war chest of Rs 750 crore to make strategic investments and acquire fast-growing beauty and personal care brands.
“I have personally done a lot of mergers and acquisitions for L’Occitane and when Darpan told me he was planning to do acquisitions, I told him that the most important thing to focus on was synergy when evaluation of acquisitions. And when integrating acquisitions, the most important thing to focus on is people,” says Andre Hoffman, CEO of L’Occitane, an investor in Good Glamm.
“I really think Good Glamm has cracked the code for integrations with a healthy mix of decentralization and centralization, and we can already see integrated businesses triple their revenue in six months. Additionally, Darpan has an innate ability to connect with like-minded founders and teams, and it keeps everyone aligned with a much larger goal than one would have achieved on their own, which I think really helps in the acquisitions and integrations,” says Andre.
Between October 2021 and March 2022, Good Glamm embarked on a wave of acquisitions beginning with the acquisition of the D2C brand The Moms Co. Other acquisitions during the period include the digital media platform ScoopWhoop, the brand of personal care St Botanica, celebrity talent management platform MissMalini Entertainment, feminine hygiene brand Sirona, influencer marketing platform Winkl, analytics platform Vidooly and personal care brand Organic Harvest.
In March 2022, the frenzy came to a temporary end with BabyChakra’s acquisition of Tinystep’s social media assets.
“We are aware that this could happen because it was 2021 and capital was available. We consider ourselves very lucky because it will be very difficult for anyone else to do it because we are not in 2021 anymore,” says Darpan.
“In 2022, what we are doing is consolidating everything and making sure we achieve profitability,” he adds.
Consolidation and restructuring
The startup has begun consolidating its business, announcing three verticals – Good Brands led by Sukhleen Aneja, Good Media led by Priyanka Gill and Good Creator led by Sachin Bhatia.
“In retrospect, it seems perfectly organized for the content creator business. It was actually a mechanism for organizing our acquisitions. We were acquiring in logical buckets,” says Priyanka.
“Each of the verticals should be profitable and self-contained as their own entity, but most importantly, the three verticals connect to each other in a very beautiful way. Content gives us the visibility and eyes we need – 250 million users across all platforms. In India, every month we reach more than half of the country’s digital population. The creators give the activation and the products depend on the brands,” she explains.
Good Brands has a portfolio of D2C beauty and personal care brands including MyGlamm, St Botanica, The Moms Co, Organic Harvest, Sirona and BabyChakra.
Good Media is a digital media company comprising POPxo, ScoopWhoop, MissMalini and BabyChakra. Every digital media platform has a unique user demographic.
The four platforms continue to operate independently, with back-end teams centralized. With more than 200 million users across digital media platforms, the company generates more than 4.5 billion impressions, the startup said.
“In March or April of last year we decided to take ownership of the content space, so let’s go find the best content companies so that we have the maximum digital reach. We also realized that influencers and creators are how consumers discover new trends, products and brands. It will be the future. Content allowed us to reach social media, and creators became the medium through which we could communicate with consumers,” says Darpan.
The Good Creator influencer platform is a merger of Plixxo, Winkl, Vidooly, Bulbul and the influencer and talent management division of MissMalini. Tracked by over 1.5 million influencers, Good Creator provides a unique integrated platform for creators to earn, learn and grow their follower base.
“It’s quite a crowded space, and a player who wants to dominate needs to have a unique proposition. My question is how does the Good Glamm group really stand out,” says Harish Bijoor, Brand Strategist, Harish Bijoor Consultants .
“I think they need to invest a bit in very specific positioning that says I am this and nothing more than that. Because when you are everything to everyone, you are nothing to one body,” he adds.
In July 2022, the startup set up its international division in Dubai, appointing Asad Raza Khan as Global Commercial Officer. Asad has over 17 years of experience at Procter & Gamble, with stints in London, Geneva, Dubai and South Asia. In his last role, Asad led and expanded Art of Shaving’s global business and operations outside of the United States.
The Good Glamm Group has planned an investment of Rs 100 crore for the international expansion. The first market Good Glamm is looking to target is the Middle East, as audiences there are already engaging with its content.
“One blank space we want to fill is in men’s grooming because we have ScoopWhoop, and we don’t have a men’s grooming product to sell across the billion impressions we get every month. There’s 45% of men on Facebook and Instagram that we reach organically every month through ScoopWhoop, and we still have nothing to sell to them,” says Darpan.
The startup is in talks with several men’s grooming brands. However, he told YourStory he was far from making any decisions due to the slowing economy.
As of October 2021, Good Glamm had earmarked Rs 500 crore (about $66 million) for the male segment over the next two years.
The conglomerate is also looking to make an acquisition for its offline distribution channel. Good Glamm expects to complete these acquisitions in FY23.
Asad Raza Khan, Global Commercial Manager, Good Glamm Group
Caution and IPO 2024
Amid the current fundraising winter, YourStory asked the founders of Good Glamm Group what they were doing to conserve money.
“We all have to recognize that we are in 2022, not 2021. Capital is no longer available. The macro environment is now beginning to pose very serious questions about EBITDA rather than top line growth. Our first AOP for this fiscal year was to grow about 6 times from April to March. We attenuated it to 3x. In doing so, we focused on ending the year profitably,” says Darpan.
Thanks to consolidation, the startup also got rid of layoffs. He also reduced the number of projects he was working on.
On its vision board, Good Glamm has the words IPO 2024, hoping to go public that year.
“Good Glamm will have no problem heading into an IPO. But in the next two years, the IPO market itself is going to be a very crowded space with a lot of IPOs. you really take a history of IPOs in tech spaces, you’ll see they have serious issues,” says Harish, of Harish Bijoor Consultants.
“IPO should take place at a time when customers are totally tied to you, your ability to monetize cannot be questioned by anyone, and when everything is working with little or no human intervention,” advises Harish.