Indonesian vegan beauty start-up Esqa recorded profitability and significant growth, raising $6 million in a Series A round led by Unilever Ventures to fuel growth.
WHO: Cindy Angelina, who serves as its Chief Executive Officer, and Kezia Trihatmanto, the brand's Chief Product Officer, founded Esqa in 2016 to make luxury beauty both practical and affordable. The business has 120 stock-keeping items across color cosmetics and skincare that are vegan and halal-certified. It is sold across Southeast Asia through omnichannel platforms, primarily via marketplaces, e-commerce as well as offline retailers such as Sociolla, Sephora, and Watsons, and local cosmetics stores.
WHY: The fresh capital will enable the brand to scale its omnichannel distribution and reach new cities at home and abroad while growing the product offer and talent pool and bolstering its market strategy.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: "Innovation is at the forefront of our brand. Our approach is to think globally and act regionally, therefore Esqa is fast in spotting international trends but catering it to Asian skin and local demands according to our customer-centric focus, providing products that the customer needs," said Kezia Trihatmanto, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Esqa.
"By having consistent profitability, we weren't looking to fundraise initially but we realized that strategic expertise is needed as the business grew," said Cindy Angelina, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Esqa.
"With Unilever Ventures' expertise in partnering with visionary founders in building iconic consumer brands across the world and East Ventures' strong ecosystem in Indonesia, it will empower Esqa to embark on its next stage of growth. We are excited to partner with both marquee investors," she added.
Pawan Chaturverdi, a partner at Unilever Ventures, said Esqa is being built "into one of the most exciting indie beauty brands in Southeast Asia. Esqa's ability to innovate an exciting line of products spotting international trends while customizing to local needs has been instrumental to their early success."
"There is a growing demand for high-quality, hyperlocal and affordable beauty products, and we are certain that Esqa's innovative natural ingredients and wide product offerings will propel Esqa to be a leader in the beauty market in Southeast Asia," said Avina Sugiarto, a partner at East Ventures.
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