Direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty and personal care brand Wow Skin Science raised Rs 375 crore ($48 million) from Singapore-based GIC in June this year. The fundraise also came on the back of huge growth momentum in FY22.
The ChrysCapital-backed company’s operating revenue grew 3.4X to Rs 340.4 crore in FY22 from Rs 99.8 crore during the previous fiscal year (FY21), according to the audited annual financial statement filed with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
Wow Skin Science offers an array of personal care products across categories such as skin, hair, bath and body, wellness, nutrition, and health through an omnichannel approach. The sale of products is the only source of income for the company which increased 3.4X to Rs 340.4 crore in FY22.
The company made some other income mainly from interest on fixed deposits which registered at Rs 3.57 crore in FY22.
With celebrity names like Bhumi Pednekar, Rashmika Mandanna, and Kartik Aaryan as its brand ambassadors along with various other content creators, advertising turned out to be the largest cost center for Wow skin accounting for 39% of the overall expenses. This cost increased 4.3X to Rs 188.8 crore in FY22.
With the surge in scale, the cost of materials emerged as the second largest cost for the company. This cost shot up 4.28X to Rs 157 crore in FY22 from Rs 36.67 crore in FY21.
Employee benefit expenses surged 8.2X while commission paid to selling agents increased 10X to Rs 19.28 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively in FY22.
The company added another Rs 22.7 crore and Rs 11.1 crore on transportation and legal fees which pushed the overall cost of the company 4.4X to Rs 479.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 108.6 crore in the preceding fiscal year (FY21).
The spurt in annual expenditure meant that losses of the Bangaluru-based company ballooned 15.4X to Rs 135.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 8.78 crore in FY21. Ratios like ROCE and EBITDA margin dropped to -49.87% and -32.59% respectively in FY22.
On a unit level, Wow Skin Science spent Rs 1.41 to earn a single unit of operating revenue.
Revenue wise, the company has made an entry in the top three D2C beauty brands. Its rival MamaEarth, which filed IPO papers on Thursday, registered Rs 943 crore in revenue in FY23 and Rs 722 crore in H1 FY23. Sugar Cosmetics posted Rs 222 crore in revenue in FY22 whereas The Good Glamm Group, which owns MyGlamm, Rs 240 crore in revenue during the last fiscal year. Wow Skin Science also competes with Juicy Chemistry and Plum.
The growth in FY 22, and the way Wow Skin Science burned through money to get there, clearly indicates a mission mode to be counted among the top tier in its category. Now that the firm has got there, it might just realise that all that effort will count for nothing if it leaves little in the tank for the bigger battle to do it profitably. The term lipstick on a pig is never too far from mind when we see D2C firms make a bonfire with spending on advertising. FY 23 will hopefully show us that Wow Skin Science has a plan to stay at the top, sustainably.