Indonesian indie beauty brand ESQA gets US$6m fund injection from Unilever Ventures


ESQA, an Indonesian indie beauty brand has raised a US$6 million Series A round led by Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of consumer giant Unilever. East Ventures has also participated in this round. The vegan cosmetics brand in Indonesia has extensive portfolio of makeup products and have just expanded into skincare category. All of their products are vegan and Halal Certified.

Founded by Cindy Angelina, CEO of ESQA and Kezia Trihatmanto, chief product officer of ESQA, the co-founders created ESQA to redefine luxury beauty by making it practical and accessible to cater the demand of affordable luxury. With the growing middle class, ESQA is in the best position to leverage this Masstige market, through its inclusive products designed to simplify the beauty routine of modern women.

ESQA is distributed through omnichannel platforms and widely available in marketplaces, eCommerce, and its own direct-to-consumer website. ESQA has expanded its business into Southeast Asia market, including Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia. The brand is also sold in prominent offline retailers such as Sociolla, Sephora, Watsons and local cosmetics stores in 47 cities nationwide. ESQA has expanded to Vietnam through Sociolla stores across Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Hanoi.

With the additional capital, the beauty startup plans to scale its omnichannel distribution and reach new cities as well as expanding overseas, grow its innovative product offering, talent building, and strengthen their marketing strategy. “Innovation is at the forefront of our brand. Our approach is to think globally and act regionally, therefore ESQA is fast in spotting international trends but catering it to Asian skin and local demands according to our customer-centric focus, providing products that the customer needs,” said Trihatmanto

Indonesia is the fastest growing beauty market in Southeast Asia. It is projected to grow to 9.8 billion in 2025, while Southeast Asia is expected to grow to 32.9 billion in 2025 according to iSTRATA.

“By having consistent profitability, we weren’t looking to fundraise initially but we realised that strategic expertise is needed as the business grew. With Unilever Ventures’ expertise in partnering with visionary founders in building iconic consumer brands across the world and East Ventures’ strong ecosystem in Indonesia, it will empower ESQA to embark on its next stage of growth. We are excited to partner with both marquee investors,” said Cindy Angelina, co-founder and chief executive officer of ESQA.

Pawan Chaturvedi, partner at Unilever Ventures added, “We are delighted to back Angelina and Trihatmanto as they build ESQA into one of the most exciting indie beauty brands in Southeast Asia. ESQA’s ability to innovate an exciting line of beauty products spotting international trends while customizing to local needs has been instrumental to their early success. We are ecstatic to have ESQA as part of Unilever Ventures portfolio.”

“There is a growing demand for high-quality, hyperlocal and affordable beauty products, and we are certain that ESQA’s innovative, natural ingredients and wide-product offerings will propel ESQA to be a leader in the beauty market in Southeast Asia. We are elated to experience ESQA’s growth brought by Cindy, Kezia, and ESQA team,” said Avina Sugiarto, partner at East Ventures.

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