Vellvette is subscription based eCommerce company dealing with beauty products targeted only towards females in India. Conceived in March 2012 and put into action in September, Vellvette is based out of Mumbai and founded by Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee. In an announcement today, Vellvette has raised its first round of investment from India Quotient. Mumbai based angel investors, Nitin Agarwal and Siddharth Ladsariya have also put in money. The amount hasn’t been disclosed but Anand Lunia founded India Quotient has deal sizes of lesser than $500k.
Vellvette is modeled on US based BirchBox which also sells beauty products to women. Initially put in place by Vineeta, she travelled to US and China to see how the models worked and came back to India to start Vellvette for fashion conscious Indian women (mainly in the age bracket of 20-40).
Both the founders are IIM Ahmedabad alumni and come from a strong background. Vineeta has had 5 years of experience in operations with MNCs while Kaushik has had startup experience as well where he raised money from Rediff.com. Having started out with putting in INR 10 lakhs from their pockets, Vellvette concentrated on generating traction for a first few months. They kept investors abreast about their growth which made it easier for investors to track their growth and now Vellvette delivers around 2000 boxes each month.
If you’re still wondering what a subscription commerce company means, think of them as a surprise cosmetic box delivered to your doorstep each month. Priced at INR 399 per month, whenever a woman signs up for Vellvette, each month she receives a box with 3 branded items (sometimes 4) which include a skincare product, a beauty product and a fragrance/bath product.
Vellvette has brands like Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop and others on board and the biggest value proposition they offer fashion conscious women is the chance to try out these products at a reasonable rate. Kaushik informs us that contrary to what they believed, a very strong trend they’re seeing is that the opening of a box is a social event amongst women where they get together and talk about it. The word of mouth has also proven to be very strong as Vellvette hasn’t invested on marketing yet.
With a team size of 8, Vineeta stresses on the fact that they’ve hired people who are feel really strongly about beauty and are passionate about it. They also have beauty experts on board who educate the consumers and this is an integral part of the offering. There has been competition in the space but Anand believes that no one has still been able to emulate BirchBox and Vellvette is his bet in the space.
Subscription based commerce has been a commonalty in the US and like quite a few other, this trend has only recently come to India. Also, targeting only women in a market like India goes on to show the confidence in the Indian internet story. Having grown in subscriptions from around 200 boxes in the earlier days to now 2000, Vellvette has grown strongly without marketing. We’ll be tracking Vellvette in the future as to how quickly they scale from here on in.