Chāmpo received the €1m (US$1.2m) pre-Series A funding from angel investors and an investment fund backed by the European Investment Bank. The plan was to use the funds to support channel expansion at a retail level – the brand was currently only stocked at Harrods in the UK and on its D2C website – along with international expansion and further new product development (NPD).
Founded in 2019, the luxury British beauty brand offered a range of hair care products made with active botanicals based on Ayurvedic principles, inspired by its founder’s Indian heritage. The range included hydrating, volumizing and balancing shampoos and conditioners and a ‘weightless’ hair oil.
‘Intelligent, aesthetically pleasing’ hair care
Kuldeep Knox, founder and CEO of Chāmpo, said it was great to have investors onboard who supported the brand’s growth ambitions, particularly given what an “exciting and pivotal” time it was for the hair care market globally.
“People are willing to pay more for superior products and expect different things from their shampoo than they did five years ago. They want a product which is intelligent, aesthetically pleasing and uses high quality natural ingredients,” Knox said.
And Chāmpo’s widening range of products, she said, were “well positioned to meet this demand”.
Knox previously told CosmeticsDesign-Europe the brand had brought “innovation to a segment in the beauty market which has traditionally lacked creativity”.
With funding advised by PwC Raise Ventures, company manager Edward Reid said: “We are delighted to have worked with Kuldeep and the team at Chāmpo on securing their pre-Series A funding. The business is on an upward trajectory and we are excited to continue working with the team through their Series A and beyond.”
Indie beauty funding flourishing
In recent months, several other indie beauty brands and biotech startups had secured important funding set to help expansion and future product development efforts.
In October, upcycled coffee startup Kaffe Bueno was awarded a European Innovation Council (EIC) grant worth €2.5m that it planned to use to build a coffee biorefinery and scale-up its active ingredient offering. Established in 2016, the Denmark-headquartered biotech firm manufactured several upcycled active ingredients, including a high lipid coffee oil (Kaffoil).
In the same month, fellow biotech startup Sequential Skin raised €1.4m in funding that it planned to use to accelerate the future of skin health, according to its CEO. The UK-Singapore headquartered firm had developed at-home patch testing kits that used gene sequencing technology to assess overall skin health in real-time, considering genetic predisposition and current skin microbiome condition. The latest seed round would be used to globally expand this diagnostics patch.
Earlier this year in March 2021, India-based organic beauty brand Juicy Chemistry also secured €5.5m ($6.3m) in Series A funding that it said it would use to expand into the US and Europe, as well as deepen its domestic presence. The brand offered a range of Ecocert-certified organic and waterless personal care products, including cleansers, serums, sunscreens and shampoos, all available in Australia, South Africa and France.