Direct-to-consumer (D2C) personal care brand Pilgrim announced that it has raised $20 million in its latest funding round, led by Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India. Existing investors Fireside Ventures and the Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office also participated in the round.
Anurag Kedia, the founder of Pilgrim, stated that around $14 million of the round’s overall funding came from a primary share sale, with the remaining funds coming from a secondary transaction. The company declined to provide details about investors selling shares in the round and its valuation after the round valuation.
In a secondary transaction, as opposed to a primary investment, an existing investor sells all or a part of their shares to another investor, and the money doesn’t come to the company.
The Mumbai-based company stated that it planned to use the funds raised to boost its offline expansion plans, brand-building initiatives, and research and development projects. By 2025, the company aims to achieve an annualized revenue run rate (ARR) of Rs 1,000 crore.
Pilgrim plans to launch five exclusive outlets by the end of this year, with a focus on major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, and New Delhi. It is present in about 300 partner stores that sell beauty and personal care products at the moment.
This funding round fits into a larger trend among D2C brands looking to expand across omni-channels in order to build a physical presence. To speed up its entry into the offline market, Pilgrim appointed Vishakh Narendran as its chief business officer in May 2023. According to the company, it wants to diversify into more modern trade outlets.
Kedia said the firm achieved its highest monthly revenue of Rs 25 crore in gross sales in August, translating to an annual run rate of Rs 300 crore in gross sales. The firm had grown three times in the last 12 months, he added.
Kedia and Makker sounded optimistic about the upcoming festive season. “We are entering the festive season, and for most consumer brands, months like October, November, and December are the peak time for sales. We hope that we can build upon what we have already delivered in August, and we expect to add close to 30-40 stock keeping units (SKUs) by December this year over the around 90 SKUs we currently have in our portfolio.”
According to a statement from the company, Pilgrim previously secured funding totaling Rs 48 crore from investors, including Fireside Ventures and the Narotam Sekhsaria Family Office.
“Vertex Ventures is a Southeast Asia fund, and that network is going to be fairly useful in the future as we look at international expansion. They can bring in learnings from what is happening in other geographies and draw parallels to the Indian market where Pilgrim could play a significant role in,” Kedia said about onboarding Vertex Ventures into their captable.