Nykaa Completes 100% Acquisition Of Little Black Book

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The acquisition of 100% equity shares of Iluminar Media (LBB) has been concluded: Nykaa

The acquisition will likely bolster Nykaa’s bid to strengthen its brand discovery and content delivery platform

Founded in 2015 by Suchita Salwan and Dhruv Mathur, LBB operates at the intersection of content, commerce and community and sells products from apparels to home decor

Beauty ecommerce platform Nykaa has completed the acquisition of Iluminar Media, the parent company of digital content platform Little Black Book (LBB), in an all-cash deal. There is no clarity yet on the financial contours of the deal.

Nykaa made the disclosure in a regulatory filing with the BSE on Saturday (September 10). This comes more than a month after Nykaa received its board’s approval to acquire LBB.

“We wish to inform you that, on completion of all the necessary formalities, the acquisition of 100% equity shares of Iluminar Media Private Limited by the Company (Nykaa) has been concluded,” said the listed startup.

The acquisition is likely part of Nykaa’s bid to strengthen its brand discovery and content delivery platform. The investment will likely allow the beauty platform scale operations and drive the Nykaa’s curation-led offerings and discovery-led shopping experience. 

“We are excited about the strong synergies we share with LBB, because much like Nykaa, they have sharply focused on driving discovery and spotlighting promising homegrown brands across their channels since day one”, a Nykaa spokesperson had said back in August.

A brainchild of Suchita Salwan and Dhruv Mathur, LBB began as a local discovery platform back in 2015 and later ventured into the social commerce space. Leveraging content and community, the platform offers products that range from apparels to home decor.

LBB is backed by marquee names such as Blume Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, Indian Angel Network, among others. According to Crunchbase, the startup has so far raised $8.3 Mn in funding across multiple rounds and from multiple investors.

The startup claims to reach more than 70 Mn users a month through their various channels. 

In the larger social commerce and content-to-commerce segments, LBB locks horns with players such as the Good Glamm Group, Meesho, among many others. 

The Indian social commerce segment is expected to hover around a market size of $7 Bn at the end of 2022, with the number projected to further soar to $84 Bn by 2030. 

The Content Pitch

It took popular beauty brands such as Revlon and Lotus around 20 years to reach the INR 100 Cr revenue mark. Interestingly, new-age startups such as Mamaearth and SUGAR Cosmetics took just four years to cross the same milestone. 

Nykaa pioneered the space and became a unicorn in just 8 years in 2020 and listed on the bourses a year later. So what lay at the bottom of the strategy for these new-age platforms?

The traditional brands focused on promoting a generic run-of-the-mill slim, European-centric face and faltered in scaling up when it came to different skin tones and body types prevalent across the length and breadth of the country. The advent of these new age companies coincided with the digital explosion, even as more and more people looked online for their beauty purchases. 

While these new-age companies did focus on variety across the product line, what worked for them was also content. Indian brands such as Purplle, Nykaa and MyGlamm invested heavily in content, developed their separate content platforms and explored partnership with social media influencers to drive traffic to their websites.

According to a report released last year, Nykaa alone generated 10-15% of the Indian beauty content on YouTube. 

In addition, the platforms later also focused on vernacular content and targeted advertising to scale their operations to convert more viewers to their users. While these were early years, the social commerce and beauty ecommerce platforms have sharpened their focus on content delivery.to spur sales and increase the brand recognition for their respective platform. 

For example, Good Glamm Group has been actively looking to strengthen its content-to-commerce play. In August of 2020, content delivery platform POPxo, influencer marketing firm Plixxo and mother-focused platform Baby Chakra merged with beauty ecommerce platform MyGlamm. The three firms together later rebranded as the Good Glamm Group in September last year. 

The consolidated entity acquired lifestyle-focused media startup Scoopwhoop in October 2021 and beauty and Bollywood news platform Miss Malini for an undisclosed amount in December last year. It later also picked up influencer marketing platform Winkl and video analytics startup Vidooly for an undisclosed amount. 

In December last year, Mamearth also acquired woman-focused content platform Momspresso and its subsidiary for an undisclosed amount. 

Similarly, roll-up unicorn Mensa Brands is in the final stages of acquiring Times Internet owned content commerce platform MensXP and iDiva in a reportedly $100 Mn deal. The deal also includes Times Internet’s content creator management platform India Lifestyle Network (ILN), Hypp. With this deal, Mensa owned brands will get access to MensXP, and iDiva’s reach of over 200 Mn users across platforms with over 20 of the fastest-growing D2C brands in India.

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