The New Delhi-based firm is confident the brand still has room for growth. The company recently raised U$1.2m in seed funding from Anicut Angel Fund, the equity arm of Anicut Capital.
It plans to use the funding to increase its manpower and invest in digital marketing.
“The company is already profitable, but I am pouring that money into the upkeep of our manufacturing facility. Now with this seed funding we can add on to our team and allocate more towards digital marketing – especially since the cost of digital marketing has gone up because of the pandemic,” said founder and CEO Harini Sivakumar.
She told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the firm’s target was to achieve revenue of INR100cr (U$13.6m) this year and raise series A funds at the end of this year as well.
“Our targets are very clear in terms of how we want to grow and how our projections are, and we are on track for it.”
Earth Rhythm initially started out in 2017 as Soapworks India, a brand that sold zero waste personal care products primarily through social commerce and pop-up stores.
In 2019, the company rebranded to Earth Rhythm when it decided to create a wider range of products.
“By that time, I was very clear that I want to launch a problem-solving brand that addresses concerns rather than labelling the product as natural or organic,” said Sivakumar.
From 2019 to 2020, Earth Rhythm saw revenue growth more than quadruple despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company saw no signs of slowing in 2021 and once again managed to quadruple its growth at the end of May 2021.
Sivakumar attributed the growth to the company’s close relationship with the consumer, which allowed it to be ahead of the curve in terms of trends.
For instance, she believes the company was at the forefront of the zero-waste beauty trend in India.
“In New Delhi the amount of pollution we endure, especially in the winter is tremendous. It’s truly alarming that it can aggravate skin conditions like eczema to an extreme. Aside from that, India currently generates around 9,000 tonnes of plastic each day. The landfills are growing like mountains each day.”
This drove the company to develop a zero-waste shampoo that was pH balanced and contained surfactants to make the shampooing experience similar to conventional liquid shampoo.
“The shampoo bar was the first product we launched, and it took off really well. Today, the shampoo bars account for 40% to 50% of our revenue,” Sivakumar said.
The company is seeking to apply for an international patent for its shampoo bar formula.
[WATCH] CEO of Earth Rhythm on where the beauty trends are heading in India
Earth Rhythm also capitalised on the growing K-beauty wave in India.
“Korean skin care only took off in India in the latter part of 2019. It became a huge topic in the early 2020s – just before the pandemic – and at that time, a lot of people were shipping in Korean products and subjected to high shipping costs and custom duties.”
The company sourced ingredients from Korea and developed a K-inspired range with ingredients such as snail mucin, Centella asiatica, and propolis.
At the same time, the company invested in digital enhancements to reinforce its position during the pandemic.
“We launched a skin analysis tool to allow people to step out of their comfort zone and try a new product. Just with the tool, our revenue has increased at least 30% – but the tool is more than that,” said Sivakumar.
“Not only does it help customers figure out what product to buy, but it also allows us to analyse what they need. From data mining, we are able to know which products will sell best in certain areas. For instance, people in Mumbai may suffer from acne because of the higher humidity levels.”