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Nykaa is initially open to funding non-equity beauty startups

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  • Nykaa launches an incubator program to identify potential beauty startups with finances and guidance to grow bigger in space.
  • Brands must participate in the program and demonstrate their brand equity and the winning brand will earn a grant of ₹4 crore ($500,000).
  • A number of judges, including actress Katrina Kaif, designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, stylist Anita Shroff Adajania, will sit on the jury to assess and guide the potential beauty brand.

Nykaa, India’s largest beauty e-commerce player, has come up with an initiative to support some of the many beauty startups and build homegrown brands.

Nykaa’s new incubator program allows beauty startups in the country to showcase their brand and earn a scholarship of up to ₹4 crore ($500,000) and even an acquisition opportunity in the future.

On July 20, Nykaa launched ‘Beauty&You’ in collaboration with the American beauty giant Estee Lauder with a prize pool of ₹4 crore that will be distributed to companies chosen by a panel of fashion entrepreneurs.

“We are looking for brands with innovative ideas and a sustainable competitive advantage. Those are unique products, unique technologies, connecting with new audiences in different ways and creating new business models, offers and channels.” Shana Randhava, vice president of ELC New Incubation Ventures, told https://londonbusinessblog.com/ India.

Nykaa said it is not keen on taking shares in the winning startups in exchange for the grant amount, but they could.

“There is a chance that we will invest in these brands, but that is not the aim of the program. The aim is to give them a pure capital allocation with no consideration. The award-winning brands will have the opportunity to launch on Nykaa’s platform and stores when they’re ready,” said CEO of e-commerce giant Nykaa and son of founder Falguni Nayar Achint Nayar.

The program aims to help founders, innovators and creators grow their businesses holistically by identifying brand goals, realizing scale ambitions and building product portfolios that appeal to a new generation of consumers in the Indian market.

A number of judges, including actress Katrina Kaif, designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, stylist Anita Shroff Adajania, will sit on the jury to assess and guide the potential beauty brand.

Shana said they are looking for brands such as Haeckel’s, a UK-based personal care brand that Estee Lauder recently invested in.

“Our vision is that Beauty & You can harness the entrepreneurial energy in India to drive the next generation of beauty brands forward by providing opportunities that help brands on a long-term, sustainable growth path,” said Randhava.

It has not decided how many winners will be declared, it could be one or even four. The chosen startup brands will be provided with masterclasses, financial support, mentorship, awareness and distribution support.

The application procedure starts on 1 August
this website and closes on September 30, and winners will be announced in November.

“The participating brands must have passion and we can help with the rest. We have an infrastructure in place to help them build and develop on that,” said Achint Nayar, Nykaa, CEO.

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