Indonesian indie beauty brand ESQA has raised a USD 6 million Series A round led by Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of consumer giant Unilever. Indonesian venture capital fund East Ventures also participated in the round. The deal marks the first investment by Unilever Ventures in the South-East Asian beauty space.
Founded in 2016 by Cindy Angelina and Kezia Trihatmanto, the brand offers vegan and halal makeup products and recently expended to Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, where it is sold through online platforms and in prominent offline retailers such as Sociolla, Sephora and Watsons.
The two friends created the start-up upon their return to Indonesia, after having studied and worked in Los Angeles for almost 10 years. They bet on the growing demand in Indonesia for quality products that are affordable, adapted to the local skins and weather and made with natural ingredients.
“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.
The company plans to use the fresh funding for product development, hiring, marketing, and expansion purposes.