Lifestyle brand Zouk raises USD 3 mn in series A

The lifestyle company Zouk announced that it has raised $3 million in new funding. Other investors, such as Sharrp Ventures and JJ Family Office, joined the round that was led by Stellaris Venture Partners. Dilip Khandelwal, CEO of Deutsche Bank India, Manoj Meena, Atomberg, and Vineeta Singh and Kaushik Mukherjee from Sugar Cosmetics also took part.

Disha Singh and Pradeep Krishnakumar, a husband-and-wife team, founded Zouk, a retailer of footwear, wallets, and bags. The company, which emphasises Indian handcraft designs and cruelty-free materials, claimed that since its last investment round in mid-2021, it has expanded by a factor of ten.

The brand said it will use the funds to expand its product portfolio and ramp up distribution. It plans to launch five exclusive outlets this year for a larger share of the bags and accessories market, which is projected to have a CAGR of 12 per cent to reach $10.6 billion by 2024. It had previously raised $1.5 million in a pre-series A round.

Zouk's founder, Disha Singh, claimed that the company can now expand up and develop a significant consumer brand in the lifestyle industry. "We are quickly growing our selection of footwear and backpacks. Backpacks, baguettes, and clutches that we just introduced have been highly appreciated. On the distribution front, we are currently accessible in more than 50 brick-and-mortar retail locations. In addition, we'll witness our first collection of brand stores. Also, we will raise brand awareness. The largest investment will be made, however, in growing our staff and fortifying our supply chain, she said.

Rahul Chowdhri, Partner at Stellaris Venture Partners, added, “We have been impressed with Zouk’s capital efficient growth. We thus decided to double down on our investment. With the expansion in footwear, the upcoming offline foray and the brand building initiatives planned, we are excited with what’s in store from Zouk.”

The demand for vegan leather accessories is expanding quickly in India, where several new direct-to-consumer firms have appeared in recent years. Titan Capital Partner Bipin Shah stated, "We are pleased to join in this round as well. We were among Zouk's initial investors. Zouk has experienced a lot of brand adoration and has concentrated on offering high-quality products at scale. In the upcoming years, we are optimistic that the brand will establish a sizable business in this industry.