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Exclusive: Reliance in talks to acquire WOW Skin Science

ChrysCapital- backed beauty and personal care brand Wow Skin Science is in late-stage talks with Reliance Retail for an acquisition, said three people aware of the details of discussions.

“Wow Skin Science has been in talks with Reliance Retail for acquisition for the past several weeks. The discussions reached an advanced stage last week and Reliance Retail is likely to give a term sheet to Wow soon,” said one of the persons cited above requesting anonymity.

According to sources, WOW Skin Science has been finding it difficult to raise a new round which then prompted them to explore merger and acquisition options. “The company held conversations with several new investors for a fresh round but these talks didn’t materialse,” said another person who also wished not to be named.

WOW Skin Science has declined to comment on the story while queries sent to Reliance remain unanswered at the time of publishing this story.

It’s worth noting that the company was reportedly in talks to raise a fresh round at a $400 million valuation. In April last year, ChrysCapital had invested $50 million WOW Skin Science for a minority stake.

Founded by Manish and Karan Chowdhary, eight-year-old WOW Skin Science is a new-age beauty and personal care brand available across e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart and Nykaa. It also sells through its own website as well as brick-and-mortar stores.

Apart from India, it also has operations in the U.S.

During a recent interview with YourStory, WOW Skin Science’s co-founder and chief executive Manish Chowdhary had said that the company clocked nearly Rs 500 crore in revenue in FY22 and expects to reach Rs 800 crore by the next fiscal year.

While the company is yet to file annual financial statements for FY22, its revenue from operations soared 15.6X to Rs 100 crore in FY21  from Rs 6.4 crore in FY20. The company had posted a loss of Rs 8.7 crore only in FY21 which was a profit of Rs 9 lakh till last year, according to its annual financial statements filed with the Registrar of Companies.

WOW competes with the likes of mCaffeine, Plum, Juicy Chemistry, MamaEarth among a few others.

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