Personal care and beauty brand mCaffeine scored Rs 240 crore in its Series C round led by Paragon Partners in March 2022. The funding came on the back of two-fold growth in its operating revenue, which crossed the Rs 135 crore mark. mCaffeine’s losses, however, shot up over six times in FY22.
mCaffeine’s operating revenue from operations surged 2X and crossed Rs 135 crore during the fiscal year ending March 2022, according to its annual financial statements with the Registrar of Companies.
mCaffeine is a new-age beauty brand that offers caffeinated personal care products. The sale of products was the sole source of revenue, which surged 103.3% to Rs 135.23 crore in FY22 from Rs 66.51 crore in FY21.
Akin to its peers in the direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty brands space, the firm’s advertising and promotions cost formed 37.8% of the overall expenditure. This cost grew 2.84X to Rs 72.66 crore in FY22.
The cost of procurement of products increased 2.12X to Rs 51.67 crore in FY22 whereas mCaffeine’s employee benefit cost spiked 3.45X to Rs 20.02 crore in FY22 from Rs 5.8 crore in FY21. It includes Rs 4.15 crore as ESOP expenses which were non-cash in nature.
Warehousing cum delivery charges and legal professional fees expanded 2.5X and 3.3X to Rs 22.47 crore and Rs 7.4 crore, respectively, during FY22, which pushed the overall expenditure to Rs 192.43 crore in FY22, 2.5X up from Rs 74.88 crore in FY21.
Unlike the revenue trajectory, mCaffeine’s losses soared 6.8X to Rs 55.67 crore during FY22 from Rs 8.29 crore in FY21. Its cash outflow from operations also ballooned 4.5X to Rs 47.95 crore in FY22.
Its ROCE and EBITDA margin worsened to -34.31% and -41.01%. On a unit level, the company spent Rs 1.42 to earn a single unit of operating revenue in fiscal year ending March 2022.
mCaffeine competes with players such as Juicy Chemistry, which scaled up to Rs 340 crore in FY22 but recorded a loss of Rs 135 crore during FY22.
Other competitors include MamaEarth, which is the largest company in the segment and is in the queue to go public. The Sequoia-backed company reported a profitable fiscal with revenue of Rs 943 crore in FY22, whereas Vineeta Singh-led Sugar Cosmetics posted a collection of Rs 200 crore in the same period.
We have said this before, but it is well worth repeating again. There are many issues with D2C brands, not least of which is the absence of a standout flagship product or brand that leads the portfolio. Something that accounts for 15 percent or higher of revenues. mCaffeine, despite the clear differentiator with coffee in its portfolio, is still a fair distance from cracking the growth formula. The high share of advertising and promotions is typical of the category, where huge customer acquisition costs hide a failure to build any sort of brand loyalty. It will take more than a caffeine hit for mCaffeine to find a way out of this groove.