Naturals, a beauty and hair salon chain, has acquired a controlling stake in Vyomo, funded by cricketer Yuvaraj Singh, for Rs.100 crore ($15 million), the Economic Times reported. Vyomo is a mobile app-based aggregator of home salon and beauty services.
Yuvraj Singh's venture fund YouWeCan, along with TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, last year provided a seed funding of an undisclosed amount to Vyomo. A rival start-up, MyGlamm, received $6 million from global beauty giant L'occitane International SA and others, as reported by the ET.
According to the report, the deal could be the first of collaborations between a brick-and-mortar salon chain and an app-based aggregator of beauty services. It added that while Vyomo will get an opportunity to access a larger market, Naturals will make its foray into the unorganised yet thriving on-demand beauty services space.
The terms of the deal, which did not disclose the percentage of the stake acquired, requires Vyomo's name to be changed to Naturals@Home.
"We have been salon specialists but we realised that on demand services are playing a very important role in the beauty space now. Since we ourselves don't understand the back end and how the tech space works, the deal with Vyomo opens up a completely new opportunity for us," said CK Kumaravel, chief executive of Naturals.
Vyomo added that the funds raised would be used for technology development and aggressive expansion to cater to growing customer demand.
"We get access to 7,500 Naturals stylists at almost no incremental cost with this deal. We were lacking in the salon experience but post this deal, we will have the capacity be able to service 25,000 customers a day," Vyomo founder Abhinav Khare told the ET.
Chennai-headquartered Naturals currently has more than 450 salons in 80 cities, and Vyomo looks at the deal as an opportunity to expand to all of these cities in the next six months.
It was reported that as the management of Vyomo will stay with the company.
Techportal reported that Vyomo also has investment from Berlin-based Rocket Internet. The start-up incubator, which recently sold its stake in FabFurnish to Future Group, is also seeking to sell stakes in online fashion company Jabong and Food Panda.