Naturals to take over Yuvraj Singh-funded startup Vyomo

Naturals imageVyomo, an aggregator of beauty salon doorstep services funded by cricketer Yuvraj Singh, will become a part of Naturals with the nation’s largest salon chain investing Rs 100 crore for a controlling stake.

This deal, the first where a brickand-mortar salon chain is collaborating with an app-based beauty services aggregator, will give Naturals an entry into the on-demand beauty services space. Vyomo, which will be renamed Naturals@ Home, will get access to a large pool of stylists and  wider reach.

Naturals, with close to 550 salons in 80 cities, has twice the number of outlets compared with its closest rival, Hindustan Unilever’s Lakme. The exact stake that Naturals got under the deal wasn’t disclosed.

“We get access to 7,500 Naturals stylists at almost no incremental cost with this deal. We were lacking in the salon experience but post this deal, we will have the capacity be able to service 25,000 customers a day,” Vyomo founder Abhinav Khare said.

Almost 30% of the beauty business is now moving to home services, said CK Kumaravel, chief executive of Naturals.

“We have been salon specialists but we realised that on demand services are playing a very important role in the beauty space now. Since we ourselves don’t understand the back end and how the tech space works, the deal with Vyomo opens up a completely new opportunity for us,” he said.
The Rs 100 crore that comes from the deal will be used to develop technology and expand aggressively to meet customer demand, Khare said. The management at Vyomo won’t change, and the board will have representation from both entities, he said.

Vyomo, the Bengaluru-based tech-enabled hyperlocal startup, has a presence in five cities. Post the deal, it plans to extend its reach to 80 cities over six months, capitalising on the operational strength of Naturals.
Naturals, which set up operations in 2000 in Chennai, has a target to have 3,000 salons by 2018 and more than 10,000 by 2025.
A high-margin business and with the maximum repeats among home services, tech-enabled doorstep beauty services have been gaining traction among home service providers.

A recent report by consulting firm KPMG estimates that the beauty and wellness industry in India will be $13 billion by 2017.

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