Zouk Founders Pradeep and Disha
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Direct to Consumer (D2C) brand Zouk has raised Rs 11.75 crore ($1.5 million) in pre-series A led by Stellaris Venture Partners, along with participation by the founders of Wow Skin Science.

Existing investors Titan Capital also participated in the round. The fund infusion will aid Zouk in expanding its presence in India and new global markets, strengthening its supply chain and distribution channels, and extending its product line, a release said.

Zouk raised its seed capital earlier this year from Titan Capital, founders of Beardo and Mamaearth. Zouk offers products that personify the essence of Indian design, while being extremely functional.

Its portfolio includes laptop bags, tote handbags, slings and chain wallets to name a few, made from 100% vegan leather sourced and manufactured in India, the release added.

Zouk’s mission is to build an iconic global consumer brand from India. Having gained over 50,000 customers with a 4x growth in the last seven months, Zouk aims to double its consumer base every six months for the next 5 years.

The company was founded by Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, both batchmates at IIM Ahmedabad. The idea of Zouk was born when Disha visited Kutch for an IIMA course. She saw that her friends loved the local handicraft items but did not buy any, given they were not functional. Thus, they set out on the mission of bringing to customers, stylish and functional products with an Essence of India.

The pre-series A round will be utilised by the company to take the rich Indian heritage in a modern avatar to the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East in addition to expanding its team in India.

Zouk Co-founder and CEO Disha Singh said, “In Stellaris, we
have found the right partner, who can guide us to become an iconic brand in the coming years.”

“We are excited that Rahul Chowdhri, Partner at Stellaris, will join our board. His vast experience of guiding multiple companies from their early stages to massive size and lucrative exits will be a big plus for us. Our first milestone is to scale Zouk to a Rs 100 crore brand in the next couple of years. We then want to chart the path to hitting Rs 1000 crore in the next few years,” Singh added.

“The Indian D2C market is at its prime today; consumers have undergone a mindset shift in choosing to go online for their shopping needs and COVID-19 has further accelerated this behaviour. There’s never been a better time to build new-age consumer brands in and from India,” Stellaris Venture Partners Partner Rahul Chowdhri said.

E-commerce marketplaces and social media platforms provide a level-playing field for challenger brands like Zouk to compete with incumbent brands, and carve their own niche,” Chowdhri added.

Titan Capital Partner Bipin Shah said, “Zouk has received phenomenal customer love, which has fueled their consistent growth across online channels in the past few months. We are happy to double down on our investment in this round, as we truly believe that this is a rocketship that will massively scale up to hit 100s of crores of Net Annual revenues in this decade.”

This round also saw participation from the founders of Wow Skin Science, a D2C international brand from India.

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