Indonesia’s ESQA raises $6M series A funding led by Unilever Ventures

ESQA, an Indonesian indie beauty brand, has raised a $6 million Series A round led by Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of consumer giant Unilever.

Renowned investor, East Ventures has also participated in this round, ESQA said in a statement on Tuesday.

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 Kezia Trihatmanto, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at ESQA.

Despite of the pandemic, ESQA has recorded profitability and significant growth. Following the success, this investment received by ESQA is also marked the first beauty investment made by Unilever Ventures in Southeast Asia.

“By having consistent profitability, we weren’t looking to fundraise initially but we realized that strategic expertise is needed as the business grew,” said Cindy Angelina, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of ESQA.

“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,” she added.

ESQA, the first Vegan cosmetics brand in Indonesia, is known as an aspiring local brand providing high quality products, packaged glamorously at an affordable price.

The firm has extensive portfolio of award-winning makeup products and have just expanded into skincare category.

The brand has launched numerous first-mover products in the country with a total of 120 stock keeping units. All of their products are vegan and halal Certified.

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 opined that it is in the best position to leverage this Masstige market, through its inclusive products designed to simplify the beauty routine of modern women.

“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,” said Pawan Chaturvedi, Partner at Unilever Ventures.

Avina Sugiarto, Partner at East Ventures said there is a growing demand for high-quality, hyperlocal and affordable beauty products, and they 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.

ESQA is distributed through omnichannel platforms and widely available in marketplaces, e- commerce, and its own direct-to-consumer website.

The firm 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.

It has also expanded to Vietnam through Sociolla stores across Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang and Hanoi.

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