Vegan lifestyle brand Zouk has raised $1.5 million (approximately Rs 12 crore) in a pre-series A funding round led by Bengaluru-based Stellaris Venture Partners. The round also saw participation from founders of Wow Skin Science, besides Titan Capital, which invested in the company earlier this year.
According to the company, the newly raised capital will be used for expansion in India and across the globe, strengthening the supply and distribution chains, as well as extending the product line.
Zouk was founded by IIM-A graduates Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar. It has carved a niche for itself with its vegan leather, PETA-approved bags. Its range encompasses a wide portfolio of laptop bags, slings, tote bags, and wallets. The company works with local artisans who design the bags using Indian motifs at Zouk’s in-house facility in Mumbai.
“In Stellaris, we have found the right partner, who can guide us to become an iconic brand in the coming years,” Disha Singh, co-founder and chief executive, told The Economic Times. “We are excited that Stellaris partner Rahul Chowdhri will join our board. His vast experience of guiding multiple companies…will be a big plus for us.”
According to Chowdhri of Stellaris, India’s D2C market is at its peak today as more and more consumers opt to do their shopping online, due to the pandemic.
“There has never been a better time to build new-age consumer brands in and from India,” Chowdhri observed. “E-commerce marketplaces and social media platforms provide level playing field for challenger brands like Zouk to compete with incumbent brands, and carve their own niche.”